DDA's Land Pooling Portal To Become Functional By Jan-End
Two years after the Union Ministry of Urban Development gave its approval to Delhi's Land Pooling Policy (LLP), the Chief Minister Arvind-Kejriwal-led government in May 2017 notified the rules after getting a go-ahead from the Lieutenant Governor. Under the new rules, 89 villages were turned "urban" and will be developed accordingly by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The policy was stuck for two years because authorities needed to declare agricultural land "urbanisable" for it to kick off.
Section 507 of The Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, says: "The corporation, with the previous approval of the government, may, by notification in the official gazette, declare that any portion of the rural areas shall cease to be included therein and upon the issue of such notification that portion shall be included in and form a part of the urban areas." Further, Section 12 of the Act says that once rural villages have become urban, they need to be converted into development areas. It is only after meeting these criteria that the DDA can invite landowners or aggregators to surrender their land parcels.
Decks have been cleared for that to happen now. The move gains prominence in light of the fact that the real estate market of the national capital has been long saturated. While the existing properties are far from the reach of a common man, a space crunch also restricts new developments. As a result of the two factors, there has hardly been any movement in Delhi property markets.
The DDA plans to build 25 lakh housing units by 2021 under its Master Plan, and would require 10,000 hectares of land to meet the target. The policy, which will affect six satellite zones and more than 96 villages, will help the development body meet that target. According to the DDA, even if half of the identified 20,000 acres of land is developed, it would be enough to meet the national capital's housing needs.
The magnitude of the land-pooling policy can be realised from the fact that more than 10,000 prospective buyers have put in their money and more than Rs 30,000 crore has already been spent by various real estate developers in anticipation of the LPP coming into force.
Under the scheme, farmers can directly transfer their land to the DDA, which would accept land parcels of more than two hectares and develop infrastructure such as roads, drainage, sewer lines, water supply, electricity, etc. After retaining a part of the land, the civic body would return a fixed percentage of land to the farmers concerned. This policy is a win-win situation for both parties. A single-window portal where land owners will be able to apply for the LPP is likely to become functional by January-end.
The DDA's land pooling model has two kinds of schemes:
- Those who surrender between two and 20 hectares get back 48 per cent of the land as a developed land parcel.
- Those who contribute over 20 hectares get 60 per cent of the land back.
For the Transit-Oriented Development Policy, the government approved the floor area ratio or FAR — the ratio of the total floor area of a building to the plot size on which it is built — at 400. But for the LPP, the FAR is less than 250. While the TOD policy aims to promote development of areas around mass-rapid transport systems, such as the Delhi Metro, the LPP aims at creating large areas for commercial/residential development after obtaining smaller land parcels from individual land owners or aggregators. Even though the commercial aspect of both policies is similar, those who own land near the MRTS corridors will reap the benefits of the discriminatory policy.
With inputs from Anshul Agarwal