Ground Rules: Govt considers land pooling policy to replace acquisitionhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/ground-rules-govt-considers-land-pooling-policy-to-replace-acquisition/

Ground Rules: Govt considers land pooling policy to replace acquisition

A new land pooling policy that will encourage active involvement of the private sector is being considered as alternative to land acquisition by the Delhi Development Authority.

A new land pooling policy that will encourage active involvement of the private sector is being considered as alternative to land acquisition by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

“The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) was asked to look into the policy to see if it made economic sense. Their report has been submitted and they have suggested certain models for land pooling,which are viable. The report will be tabled at the DDA meeting for approval and will be circulated to different departments for their comments before it is finalised,” an official said.

DDA spokesperson Neemo Dhar confirmed that the policy was being considered. This will ensure involvement of private players in land assembling and development.

Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath,too,had said the policy would replace existing large-scale acquisition of land and help make farmers partners in the development process.

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Ministry officials said the policy is expected to be finalised in a month. “The NCAER was asked to look into the land pooling policy. Land acquisition is increasingly becoming difficult and this is slowing down development. Price of land will come down only if there is development,” an official said.

In the absence of any clarity on the final policy for acquiring land in the city,work on the new proposed sub-cities under the Delhi Master Plan-2021 has been put on hold.

“These five urbanisable zones are supposed to come up in South,Southwest,North,Northwest and Northeast Delhi. Since land acquisition has been put on hold,we are not taking up work,” a DDA official.

The Master Plan states that five new sub-cities or urbanisable zones were to come up to accommodate at least 10 lakh additional people a decade from now.

The DDA officials said the future of the proposal to build sub-cities,and what shape these would eventually take,would depend on the final policy adopted for acquiring land in the city.

Urban experts said the absence of sub-cities could result in unplanned growth — slums and unauthorised colonies.

Though the Master Plan was notified in February 2007,no major work has been taken up to develop these zones. “Only basic work such as notifying roads and drains has been done,” a DDA official said.

The Master Plan states: “The requirement for urban extension would be 20,000-22,000 hectares within a development timeframe of 15-16 years. The land required for urban extension,will have to be assembled for planned development.”

DDA had developed three sub-cities — Narela,Rohini and Dwarka — in accordance with the previous Master Plan. But work in these areas are still not fully complete.

“DDA had formulated a structure plan for Dwarka which was approved in July 1992. The plan for the sub-city comprises of 29 sectors,of which Sector 1 to 26 are developed,” a DDA official said.

In Rohini,Phase-I and II have been completed,while the development process has started in Phase-III.

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But Phase-IV and V are still at the planning stage. “The Phase-III,IV and V comprise Sector-20 to 41,” an official said.