In a major development, LG has declared 89 villages in Delhi, marked for Land Pooling, as urban areas. The Urban Development Department of the Delhi government issued a notification in this regard in May, 2017, after Lt Governor Anil Baijal approved the Delhi Development Authority’s Land-Pooling Policy (LPP).
The policy was stuck for quite some time, leading to the mushrooming of unauthorized colonies in these rural areas. The proposal to allow land pooling is almost a decade old. Delhi Development Authority had notified the policy in June 2015. But it could not be implemented as the state government refused to address the file related to change of the land use of the village’s agricultural land.
The land use of the said agricultural land, falling under the scope of Delhi’s land pooling policy, was to be changed in two steps. On 16th May, 2017 (Tuesday), notification was done to change the character of the villages under land pooling policy from rural to urban areas. In the second step, this land will be declared as ‘development area’. After that, the land use will automatically become non-agriculture. Then, farmers will be asked to pool in their land under DDA’s policy by submitting the land documents, for land pooling to take place.
The LPP is aimed at getting individuals or a group of land-owners – living in urban villages on Delhi’s periphery – to pool their land and hand it over to the DDA. Delhi government will get land from DDA for developing facilities such as electrical sub-stations, schools etc.
The DDA will develop public infrastructure, such as, roads, on part of the pooled land and return a portion of the plot to the owner. The owners with upto 50 acres of land will get around 48% of their land share back and the ones with more than 50 acres will get around 60% of their pooled land back from the DDA. The returned portion of the land will have its value increased due to the development of infrastructure nearby.
The policy’s implementation is significant as this will pave way for the development of 25 lakh housing units and around 5 lakh EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) units. Providing relief to small farmers, self-penalty on DDA for delays, and flexibility to farmers to trade their land or tie up with developers for land-pooling are some of the important features of the policy.