Delhi’s LG Anil Baijal on 16th of May, 2017 (Friday) approved Land Pooling villages to be declared as developed areas. This will give a big push to Delhi’s planned development and affordable housing under DDA’s ambitious Land Pooling Policy (LPP).
The villages under Delhi’s Land Pooling policy are spread over nearly 77,000 acres, of which around 50 percent land will be made available to developer entities for real estate. The development of these 95 villages will result in over 25 lakh houses in the planned areas of the city. DDA will also be responsible for sewerage, water supply, electricity supply, bus terminals etc, and also return a portion of the plot to farmers.
To many, the news came through LG’s tweet, “Approved notification of 95 villages as development areas of DDA. Push for affordable housing, social and physical infrastructure needs of Delhi (sic).”
The villages to be developed under land pooling are from Delhi’s five zones, namely, Zone K1, L, N, P-II, and J.
Per DDA’s Land Pooling policy, individuals or a group of land owners owning land in villages in above mentioned five zones, marked for land pooling, can pool their land and hand it over to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which will develop basic public infrastructure like roads, before returning a substantial portion back to the owner.
The land owners offering between 5 to 50 acres of land for development will receive 48% (43%+3%+2%) of their land back, and those who would be pooling 50 acres or more of their land would get 60% (52%+5%+3%) of their pooled land back once the development is completed.
The leftover land will be used by DDA for purposes such as infrastructure development.
After initial setbacks/hurdles, the land pooling policy is set to change the character of the rural part of Delhi.
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.
In a meeting held by the Federation of housing societies and developers and Delhi Dehat Kisan Morcha with Delhi CM, Sh Arvind Kejriwal, on the issues regarding implementation of the Land Pooling Policy, the latter has assured that the Delhi Govt will clear the file regarding Land Pooling by May 7.
The file was stuck with the Delhi Govt since a long time now. The latest bone of contention between the center and the State government was about transfer of 10 percent of pooled land to the Delhi govt for development purposes.
Chief Minister, Sh Kejriwal, was informed about the hassles being faced by farmers because of the delay in the declaration of 89 villages as urban villages and 95 as development areas and how it was proving responsible in halting the growth in the development of the Capital.
A lot many societies, builders and individual buyers have already invested huge sums in the zones marked for development under Land Pooling Policy. Per some inputs, over 30,000 crores have already been invested in purchasing land and all that investment has been stuck because of the tug of war between Center and State governments.
The policy was notified by the Congress government on 5th of Sep, 2013 and the operationalization of the draft regulations for the same was approved on 26th of May, 2015 with five amendments. Besides, concerned units of MCD have already passed resolutions and have sent their consents to the concerned department of Delhi Government for further approvals.
The assurance from the CM has once again raised the hopes of common man who had been eagerly waiting for the last hurdles in the implementation of the policy to resolve. This would pave way for large scale development of affordable housing on the lines of Dwarka and Rohini, within the City.
Refer below link for updates in Hindi on the same.
After discussing the concept of Smart Cities from different perspectives we will move on to exploring the scope of smart cities in India and the proposed governmental plan for it, in this final chapter.
Smart Cities in India
Since the time our honorable Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi has raised pitch for the development of 100 smart cities in India, it has become talk of the town. In today’s topic we will go through what has already been done, and what is to be expected in the near future.
What will need to be seen is if it would be a complete makeover of the existing infrastructure and processes or if this would primarily comprise of retrofitting work to upgrade it a notch up on a few parameters.
It must be a collaboration of local and central government, businesses, non-profit organizations working in the field of environment, social upliftment and awareness etc, academia and the citizens willing to offer their insights into their idea of sustainability.
Either way, it would present with a great opportunity to step into the future. Employment opportunities would arise too and many will get opportunity to flex their creative sense.
Smart Cities in India
In 2015, 98 cities competed in the first round, and till date 27 cities have been selected under smart city mission which will get Rs 200 Cr for improving their infrastructure.
Strategies to be adopted:
The strategic components identified for area-based development in the Smart Cities Mission are:
Of the 98 cities and towns that will upgrade into smart cities, 24 are capital cities, another 24 are business and industrial centres, 18 are culture and tourism influenced areas, five are port cities and three are education and health care hubs.
Below are the links to the earlier parts of this series:
In this section, we will drill deeper into the concept to understand what must be the core Infrastructure to build up a Smart city.
Frost & Sullivan have identified eight key aspects that define a Smart City:
smart governance, smart energy, smart building, smart mobility, smart infrastructure, smart technology, smart healthcare and smart citizen
We have leveraged out of it while coming up with our own list.
This cannot be a one-time process. First and foremost there is a need to identify metrics to define it. Suggestions need to be sought from residents and experts alike. Consolidated list, then, should be filtered out to weed out parameters which could not be measured. Whole process should be put online for everyone’s review and then the process set must be evaluated for the actions taken. This could be used as a model to make new learnings and improvise the existing system in an incremental fashion.
We are not talking about just pre-schools, schools, colleges, university(ies), training centers etc, but, about defining ways to keep all citizens educated and informed on all policies and matters, which are directly or indirectly related to them. A number of health issues can be contained beforehand if residents are updated about them through some governmental or Non-profit organization(s).
Also, there is need to upgrade the existing educational system. We will also recommend a 360 degree review system, where not just the students will get rated for the performance but teachers / professors too will need to pass through the evaluation process. This will help them know their shortcomings and at the same time put pressure on them to perform better alike students.
It should not just be about Health care but Preventive Health care. Simple living, eating healthy, regular exercises, on-time vaccinations and other preventive services could reduce burden on overall Health care services. This would allow people to live a healthy, long and stress free life.
Technology is continuously improving and could be used to record, monitor and analyze the health details of individuals; maintain medical history; and guide them periodically to avoid expected health concerns based on their and their family history.
So, in the smart cities, IOT is not just going to digitize homes and elevate experience of online shopping, but also will make health care services smarter by taking away focus from cure to prevention.
Adequate water supply
Firstly, there will be a critical need for accurate forecasting of water consumption and use by the habitants. To us, a smart city should be self sustainable in terms of its water requirement. That would mean that it should be able to re-generate water, atleast most of it, from what it consumed. This will need to be coupled with water loss management to induce smart water concept for smart cities which has become increasingly important because of rising population and water scarcity.
24 x 7 Electricity Supply:
This will need to be looked upon from two sides.
One would be to increase the electricity generation capacity keeping in mind the expected population of the city when at peak and the average requirement of an average household which must be at par with the usage in developed countries using renewable energy solutions, such as, solar, wind etc.
At the same time, enough attention needs to be devoted in researching better technologies to reduce energy consumption by the commonly used devices. A good example to this is the transformation from the filament bulbs to CFL to LED.
Sanitation and cleanliness:
Everything in a smart city will need to be developed with sustainability at its core. Physical infrastructure would need to be developed for things like Solid waste management and proper disposal of garbage. What could be recycled should be recycled and rest should be treated in the most environmental-friendly manner possible.
Besides, enlightening citizens on the subject would be a major challenge. We would need to work with the people to make them aware about the importance of sanitation and cleanliness. Also, initial level of waste segregation will have to be done at the source itself and people will need to be guided on that too.
Transportation to humans is what internet is to computers. This will further break down to two major sub segments, i.e., Public and Private Transportation.
Isn’t this the right time to start thinking of reducing our dependence on transportation powered by fossil fuel? Yes!! It is time to start switching to e(lectronic)-Transportation. They are expensive as of now but with more manufacturers jumping in and a mass transition catalyzed by governmental mandate could make that affordable to the common people.
This should be complimented by an efficient and robust public transport system comprising of Metro Trains, electric trams, AC buses etc, coupled with pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes. A well knit transport network could ensure jam free traffic on roads and will have minimal participation in causing pollution.
Real estate, let it be residential or commercial development, is both the cause and result of smart cities in some way. A smart city should have well planned, good quality and affordable housing solutions for all, at its core. Simultaneously, since there will always be a workforce in the lower and lower-middle group segment, provisions should be made for residential units and low budget markets for these people belonging to economically weaker section.
Healthy and Sustainable environment:
This could be achieved with effective use of renewable resources and minimizing dependence on fossil fuels. Green norms should be made a mandatory part of all planning, let it be for housing, transportation or any other entity.
Optimal digitization and Robust IT connectivity:
Wherever feasible, processes / services much be knit together with information technology. Internet speed in India has started to catch up with the rest of the world and new systems can be planned keeping in mind that it is going to get better in the coming years. We are expecting 5G in another 4 to 5 years time which would leave us with unending possibilities and applications. Cyber-security will assume an important role.
Safety and security:
Though, this in itself is a vast topic and is of utmost importance, we will stick to just a few concerns that should amicably be made part of this final chapter:
There were some more points which crossed our mind, but we will keep them for some other time.
Below are the links to the earlier parts of the series.
After decoding the concept and to some extent definition of smart city, in this section, we will try to analyze what makes a city smart.
Though we have discussed a number of features which one could enroll to get on road for planning a Smart City, but what exactly makes a city smart?
Is it about upgrading the existing technology of a city to bring it at par with the best? .. or is it the well informed/educated and knowledge prone people whose responsible acts make a city smart?
What makes this question more relevant is the Center’s ambitious scheme to develop 100 smart cities in coming years.
We all have felt the level of stress because of various reasons. Let it be the traffic, unruly drivers, roads full of potholes, inequality in the society, vast difference in the socio-economic stature of different sections of the society, policies that help rich grow richer and makes poor poorer, corruption at all levels or growing health concerns because of increasing level of pollution.
Life in a smart city will be very different from present-day lifestyles. It will bring in harmony in the life of individuals by balancing their needs and that of the society by optimal use of technology mixed with good governance. Political will can handle atleast half of the city woes by itself.
What if most of the things could be done online from the comfort of your home. Let it be shopping, paying bills, and even for jobs that could be done from your PC or mobile / telephone. Though most of these are still possible but yet we have to travel for rest of the cases, adding traffic to the already overloaded roads. Better infrastructure and lesser need to travel would lead to lesser congestion and hence pollution. This could be easily achieved by better use of IT and by simplifying processes.
Why same set of information has to be provided every time you open up a new bank account, invest in mutual funds, or go for any other scheme. A govt controlled centralized system can be an answer to this which could be referred using some unique id, such as, aadhar card, PAN No, or even license no. to get the details. This will also eliminate need to update several instances every time there is a change in some information, say, your current address… So?? Less Stress!!
Those were just examples of how just by understanding the issues and by using technology effectively to one’s aid lives could be made better and hence achieve goal of smarter cities.
Regional challenges could be handled using regional competitiveness. Carefully studying all chapters in depth and integrating them with Information Technology would make them better accessible, in turn improving quality of life and will have direct social, human and economic impact. Increasing participation of citizens in the governance of cities will make them more responsible and accountable.
In our next section we will discuss about the Core infrastructure required to build up a smart City.
Below is the link to the first part of this series.
After our last post when we were planning to get onto our next, we stumbled upon this topic and with it being relevant to our cause and since the honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has already pitched for it by setting path for developing next 100 smart cities in the country, it became our pick of the week.
Now since the topic is too vast to be covered in one go, we will be splitting it into sections for easy maneuverability across the various fragments.
What is a Smart City?
We scrolled through numerous web pages, discussed with experts, but, found it difficult to extract a precise definition for a smart city. One thing that we could say for sure is that it is about an effort to take the quality of human life towards standards set at level of idealism.
Before understanding the “What”, we might need to get over with “Why”:
Some of the other terms that have been used for similar concepts are:
Digital city: This would comprise of locally focused, fully integrated, online network encompassing whole of city processes into a single seamless thread.
Flexicity: In a age where technology is growing exponentially, it would be a city having processes and infrastructure made flexible enough for the authorities to allow its upgradation to next version without breaking the existing system.
Intelligent City: A city planned after studying a range of data on air quality, whether conditions, humidity level, traffic, crime, socio-economic status etc to change systems and functionality of cities. Primary focus is on collecting terabytes of data using researchers / sensors etc and feeding the same to an optimal analyzer before letting the information pass through human scrutiny.
Knowledge-based city: A Knowledge-based city is the one that nurtures knowledge and provides an environment for it. William Lever, through his papers, have established a broad relationship between the quality of knowledge base and economy change.
MESH city: MESH stands for Mobile, Efficient, Subtle, and Heuristics. MESH Cities use adaptive, citizen-focused, self-forming networks to learn and inform new design solutions.
They all have their pros and focus on one or more aspects of modernization. As was mentioned earlier, Smart City is a concept that has no true definition and could be considered to be the one encompassing features from one or more of the above.
In the age of Information Technology, it could be safely said that no city could be given this tag until all the city processes / functions are fully digitized. Also, no city can become truly smart unless it is populated by well informed citizens. It should have a place and plan for people of all socio-economic status and with all sorts of cultural and religious beliefs.
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (the Act, from hereon) is a Government of India initiative to bring about the much needed transparency and order to the real estate related transactions by creating a systematic and a uniform regulatory environment and paves the way for setting up of RERA for regulation and promotion of real estate sector. This was done to protect the consumer interest and to make developers accountable for timely completion of projects.
Draft rules under RERA were issued in June, 2016, which did not cover the on-going projects. Final rules for it got notified in October, this year, by the ministry of Housing and Urban population.
Central Govt’s rules are applicable to all UTs, but in case of States, it will serve as a model template and could be tweaked to meet specific local demands.
Below is an insight into the Center’s version of it.
For Ongoing Projects:
All promoters of all ongoing projects which have not received completion certificate will have to register with the state-level regulatory authority and provide complete disclosure of project details.
Developers will have to deposit 70% of the amount collected from homebuyers in a separate bank (escrow) account within 3 months of registering a project with RERA. An escrow account is under the purview of a third party essentially a bank or a recognized lender. This provision thereby results in further oversight of the bank account and signing authority is with the escrow account manager say a trustee or a bank or a lender. The funds from an escrow account can only be withdrawn on the request of an engineer, architect and a chartered accountant, by a real estate developer solely for the purpose of construction of the project to which the account belongs and that too in proportion to the stage of work.
Registration of project with RERA
For registration of projects with the authorities, developers will be required to submit details, such as:
Sale on Carpet area and not super build up area
Consumer must know what exactly is he paying for, and hence, the promoter shall be required to declare the size of the apartment based on carpet area (net usable area of the unit and does not include common areas, balconies, verandahs etc) instead of the super build up area.
The law makes it mandatory for developers to post all information on issues such as project plan, layout, government approvals, land title status, sub contractors to the project, schedule for completion with the State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and then in effect pass this information on to the consumers.
The promoter will also have to upload details regarding number and type of apartments or plots, status of the project with photographs floor-wise, status of construction of internal infrastructure and common areas with photos, status of approvals received and expected date of receipt, within 15 days of expiry of each quarter on the project website.
Consumer must make timely payments as per the agreement for sale to the real estate developer and against his share of registration charges, taxes, maintenance charges etc or pay interest at a prescribed rate, in case of delay. Possession must be taken within 2 months after the occupancy certificate is issued. Consumer must play an active role towards registration of conveyance deed of the unit, formation of an association of consumers etc.
The Act mandates setting up of an Appellate tribunal by the appropriate government within one year of the Act coming into force. So, State RERA is the first body to approach in case of disputes and as per set of rules this body can establish the nature of violation and prescribe the penalty/ punishment. Any person aggrieved by the decisions of the RERA or an adjudicating officer can appeal to the Appellate Tribunal. This set up will fast track the process of dispute settlement since it minimizes the involvement of the existing judicial system.
Discrimination in sale of properties on any grounds will also not be entertained under the new rules. Adjudicating Officers, Real Estate Authorities and Appellate Tribunals shall dispose of complaints within 60 days
A person can appeal in High Court if he is aggrieved by decision of the Appellate Tribunal however this isn’t allowed in cases where the decision was reached after consent of the disputing parties. The person has to approach High Court within 60 days of receiving the decision.
If an intermediary violates the rules prescribed by the RERA, he will be liable to a penalty for every day of the violation caused and the sum could increase up to 5% of the total estimated cost of the unit in question.
In case of delays, developers will be required to pay compensation to the allottees with an Interest Rate of SBI’s highest Marginal Cost of Lending Rate plus 2%. This effectively means a developer will have to pay interest rates of 11 to 12 % in case of a delay in project delivery.
The rules also contain clauses providing for compounding of punishment with imprisonment for violation of the orders of Real Estate Appellate Tribunal against payment of 10% of project cost in case of developers and 10% of the cost of property purchased in case of allottees and agents.
In a departure from the draft rules, the requirement of disclosing Income Tax returns has been withdrawn in the final rules keeping in view the confidentiality attached with them and as pointed out by legal experts and promoters.
A high level meeting, chaired by Rajiv Gauba (Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development) and attended by senior officials of all the departments (Ministry of UD, Govt of NCT of Delhi, DDA and North and South Muncipal Authorities), was held on Tuesday (November 1, 2016) to sort out issues and enable Notification of Land Pooling Policy regulations.
Gram sabha land was identified and marked to be kept separate from Land Pooling, as was asked by Delhi Govt.
North and South Muncipal bodies have passed resolutions for notifying 89 villages as urban areas.
Delhi Govt gave a in-principal nod to the Land Pooling Policy. Chief Minister, Mr Arvind Kejriwal, openly lauded the policy.
Issue: Delhi Govt has sought some clarifications regarding provision of civic amenities in the developed areas.
Solution: Both the MCDs (North and South) have been asked by the Ministry to expedite their reply to the Delhi Govt.
Issue: Delhi Govt had asked for 10% of developed land for infrastructure development.
Solution: DDA in the meeting stated that transfer of developed land would be provided to the Delhi government on need basis as is being done now in accordance with the Master Plan of Delhi.
Also, the Delhi government was requested to consider the issue of waiver of stamp duty on transfer of developed land to Developer Entity (DE).
With this, Delhi Govt. was requested to expedite notification of the villages as urban areas and development areas. To this, Delhi government assured that local revenue officials would at the earliest verify the ‘Sajra’ maps of these villages falling under land pooling ambit.
After discussing out on what and why of Delhi’s Land Pooling Policy and Country Homes / LDRA, we will move on to the next and the most important section of the policy’s R-zone, i.e., High Density development.
The Policy will be bringing all this land under one umbrella after converting it from its current Agricultural status to R-zone. This will comprise of High Density areas which should get to see high-rises and Low density residential areas also known as country homes.
In this section we will be discussing about the former one.
The policy is based on a new concept of land aggregation against the traditional practice of land acquisition by the government(s) for undertaking large scale residential/commercial projects.
Under this, DDA will be undertaking urbanization of around 24,000 hectares of publicly owned land through land pooling to accommodate a population of around 50 Lakh in outer Delhi zones, namely, P-II, L, N etc.
Key Points: R-Zone – High Density – DDA’s Land pooling Policy
The policy aims at providing affordable housing to people and covers the huge gap between demand and supply
It is expected to deliver close to Seven hundred thousand of EWS flats for the poor and can help Delhi become slum free to a large extent.
Land Pooling Policy is expected to have an enormous impact on the residential as well as commercial real estate market in and around Delhi.
Though the Delhi govt has given a in-principle nod to the policy but once it puts its physical impression on it for approval, dream of millions of people to own a house in the capital’s upcoming smart cities will become a reality.