The Uttar Pradesh government is likely to adopt the land pooling system on the lines of Gujarat to meet the rising demand of land bank for its development authorities. The system,incorporated in the new draft prepared by the Housing and Urban Planning Department,will reduce the burden of paying compensation to the land owners.
Under the scheme,a compact area will be selected in consultation with land owners for urban development. The authority concerned will provide infrastructure through funds obtained by commercially selling a part of land. The remaining land,whose value would have increased with the provision of infrastructure,will be reallocated to the participating land owners. Land owners,however,cannot claim their own piece of land. The biggest advantage of this arrangement is that it avoids public discontent and protests,and,above all,no money is required for acquiring land since there is no provision for payment of compensation.
The system is successfully implemented in Gujarat,where,housing officials say,people themselves come forward for it. In UP,land pooling was also proposed during the Mayawati regime but the final decision could not be taken.
Furthermore,the minimum area under the scheme will be 10 acres,whose utilization has been already decided. Roads,parks and open spaces will account for 40 per cent and community facilities 5 per cent. The development authority will get its share of 30 per cent while the remaining 25 per cent of land will be provided as developed plots to land owners,which the state government is considering to increase to 30 per cent. Housing officials hope that land pooling will save them from litigation and opposition by land owners.
At present,the development authorities pay the farmers once the district magistrate has awarded the compensation. Still,there is discontent among the farmers and,many a time,the acquisition process gets entangled in legal battle,the prime example being the 1,500-acre Prabandh Nagar scheme in Lucknow which has failed to take off since 2007. The Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) had agreed to pay double the circle rate but farmers did not give their consent. Meanwhile,private builders jumped in and purchased land in the same area.