SEVERELY CASH-STRAPPED, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is hoping that a low-density residential scheme in Mullanpur Garibdass area, with plots of 500 sq yds and 1,000 sq yds, will help overcome its financial crisis.
The scheme is planned along the lines of Chandigarh’s single-digit sectors, with large-sized plots, and a population of 30 only per acre, Chandigarh Newsline has learnt. The housing scheme is to come up near Medi-City. GMADA has initiated the process of acquiring 255 acres of land for the scheme. To conserve its finances, instead of paying cash compensation to all the owners of the acquired land, GMADA has offered the option of land pooling. Under this, the owner will be compensated per acre with a 1,000 sq yd residential plot and a 121 sq yd commercial plot. GMADA is offering cash compensation to owners of land less than 1 acre.
GMADA officials said the scheme was planned in 2015 by the previous SAD-BJP government. The notification inviting objections has been issued. The officials of GMADA have held meetings with Eco-City Sangarsh Committee which is representing the farmers. Of 255 acres, 246-acre land is owned by the residents of Mullanpur Garibdas. “As per the master plan, we have planned for four families per acre, with up to seven or eight members in each family,” a GMADA official said.
An official of the land acquisition branch of GMADA said under land pooling, half the land acquired has to be given to the owner, while GMADA can sell the other half. One acre consists of 4,840 square yards. Of this, GMADA can put on sale 2,400 square yards. Officials said the price of 500 square yard plot could go for as high as Rs 1 crore.
“We will carve out four plots of 500 square each. Two plots will be offered to the farmers under the land pooling scheme. We will sell two plots, the rest of the land will be used to build dispensary, roads and parks in the area,” the official said. GMADA has already conducted the Social Impact Survey. Sources in GMADA said that most landowners want to opt for the land pooling scheme.
A GMADA official said they have completed all the formalities and now they will issue notices under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RARA) which means that GMADA will start the process of rehabilitation of the landowners. GMADA will offer around Rs 1.5 crore compensation per acre if the landowner does not opt for the land pooling scheme.
The members of Eco-City Sangarsh Committee which has recently met the GMADA officials, however, asked the government to announce the award for compensation. The chairman of the committee, Mohan Lal Gupta, said that they met the GMADA officials around 20 days ago and discussed the options offered by the government.
However, both the scheme and its timing have puzzled many. Tejinder Singh Punia, chairman of Mohali Property Consultants Association, said that keeping in mind the slump in the real estate market, GMADA should be offering small-sized plots. He added that this is not the right time to launch a low-density residential scheme.
N S Kalsi, who retired as an Executive Engineer (XEN) from Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA), also questioned GMADA’s intention. “In a 500-square yard area, GMADA can make flats which will accommodate hundreds of people. People would be interested in buying small properties. GMADA can also target the middle class and the service class which is living in Chandigarh but I fail to figure out what is the idea behind floating such a scheme. I am sure that not many people will come to apply in the scheme,” Kalsi said.
Shailander Anand, former chairman of MPCA, also questioned the timing of the scheme. He pointed to the fall in the real estate market and cited the example of GMADA’s own Purab Premium Project. “When Purab Premium Apartment project was launched, GMADA planned 4,600 flats of different sizes which include one BHK, two BHK and three BHK, but due to poor response, GMADA had to change the decision and only 1,600 flats were built,” Anand explained.