The Delhi government is sitting on the Delhi Development Authority’s land pooling policy (LPP), stalling work on DDA’s Master Plan Delhi 2021 which aims to provide the ground for building 25 lakh new housing units in the national capital by 2021. No movement is expected on the matter this year, sources told this newpaper.
Sources in the Delhi government said, “The DDA requested the Delhi government to put out a notification that would declare 95 villages as development areas and 89 out of them as urbanisable areas or urban villages. The government is unlikely to put out the notification this year. There is a lack of consensus and the department has kept the request on hold. We are discussing the issue with all the stakeholders, primarily the landowners. It will take time. We don’t expect that we will put out the notification anytime soon. There is a very minute chance of it coming out this year, but frankly I don’t see that happening.”
“You have to understand that we need to consider the interest of the landowners as well. Not every owner wants to give up his land,” the source said.
There is also a concern that many people have already invested thousands of crores of rupees in residential projects proposed in these areas that are advertised widely by real estate developers as legitimate and approved under the LPP. “People have invested money to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees in real estate projects in these areas and that investment is now stuck. That is a situation of worry as well,” the source said.
According to law, real estate developers cannot advertise any project in such areas till all the mandatory provisions mentioned in the Land Pooling Policy are not completed. “The Land Pooling Policy is important as it helps in planned development of an area. It works in a way that a certain land pooling agency, in this instance the DDA, consolidates land owned by individuals or groups. This happens by way of transfer of ownership rights. DDA then transfers ownership of part of the land again to the landowners for development of the land in a planned manner. But, the government apparently held mohalla sabhas in several of these villages and large majority of the people are not in favour of giving up their land,”
The Union Urban Development Ministry had approved key amendments to the LPP in May last year, clearing the way for DDA to approach the Delhi government for a notification of development areas and urban villages for redevelopment and construction of housing units. The DDA sent a request to the Delhi government mid last year. DDA officials say that even after sending several reminders, the government has neither moved on it and nor has it replied to the housing agency with a clear stance.
The land pooling policy proposes a partnered development model wherein landowners are made stakeholders in developing the housing units with DDA. The agency classified land by ownership into two categories with different stake share in the two. The first category includes land in size of 20 hectare or above. In this category, the developer keeps 60% share while DDA retains 40% share. In the second category, which has land between 2-20 hectares, the developer keeps a 48% share while the DDA keeps 52%.
According to official estimates, seven LLP zones demarcated in the Delhi Masterplan — L, J, K1, K2, P1, P2 and N — are spread over 70,000 acres. Out of this chunk, the government has been asked to notify land for where the housing units can be built. The DDA says that the plans for urban extensions have already been approved and the plans to build these units in the urban extensions will only come in to effect after the Delhi government identifies “urbanisable areas” in these 95 villages. According to DDA, at least 10,000 hectare of land is needed to achieve the target of building the 25 lakh houses. The agency has also directed that 20% of the houses that will be built should be for EWS sections.