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Land pooling policy approved by DDA: Details 
Date: 08 Sep 2018
INT|20180908|001 

Around 19,000 hectares of land will be developed in Delhi as part of the land pooling policy, which was approved by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on September 7. It has now been forwarded to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for approval.
Delhi Land Pooling PolicyThe policy was cleared after five years at DDA`s board meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. As part of the policy, 17 lakh dwelling units are expected to come up, out of which 15 percent units will be in the affordable category.
With a floor area ratio (FAR) of 200, Delhi will around 76 lakh people will be accommodated in these homes. To promote affordable and inclusive housing, 15 percent FAR, over and above the permissible FAR, has been allowed for economically weaker sections (EWS).
"The policy covers urbanizable areas of urban extensions in 95 villages. Formulated with an aim to provide affordable housing in Delhi, the policy is also expected to trigger huge economic, social, and civic development of the city. It is likely to benefit lakhs of farmers while generating immense investment opportunities," a release issued by the Raj Niwas said.
The policy covers greenfield areas in five zones including , J, K-1, L, N and P-II, which come under the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 (MPD).
Ahead of the implementation of the policy, notices were published in newspapers inviting suggestions from the general public. In all, 734 suggestions were received, and were examined by the board of inquiry before a public hearing was held in July.
DDA to act as facilitator and planner:
As part of the land pooling policy, DDA will act as a facilitator and a planner while the process of pooling and development will be undertaken by developer entities or the consortium. A single window mechanism has been created for the implementation of the policy.
Land owners having land of any size can participate in the policy, however, the minimum area to be taken up for development would be two hectares. A developer entity (DE) or an individual can participate in the scheme by pooling land parcels covered under a sector as per the Zonal Development Plan.
Integrated sector-based planning approach:
For smooth infrastructure development, integrated sector-based planning approach will be followed. A sector will comprise 250 to 300 hectares of land. Once a minimum of 70 percent contiguous land, free of encumbrances, is assembled within a sector, it will be eligible for development.
FAR of 200 is recommended for development under the land pooling policy:
As per the FAR and density norms provided in the policy, FAR of 200 is recommended for development, keeping in view availability of water, requirement of land for physical and social infrastructure and impact on environment.
At an FAR of 200, water requirement can be met through compulsory dual pipeline, which will lead to reduction in unaccounted loss of water.
Delhi Land PolicylUniform division of land:
Differential land return in two categories has been replaced with uniform division of land on 60:40 basis in the modified policy, thereby benefiting small land holders and farmers. To keep pace with new forms of development, provision for achieving a vertical mix of uses (residential, commercial, PSP) at building level is introduced. Additional development controls have been introduced to regulate the building and infrastructure aspects of development.
Compensation in the form of Tradable FAR has been introduced to allow the DE/ consortium to utilise the entire allowable FAR within the 60 percent land. Provisions for amalgamation and sub-division of city level public, semi-public plots and commercial plots have been introduced, for ensuring that minimum area requirements as per MPD norms are met.
Service providers will take up the development of trunk infrastructure, i.e. roads, water supply, electricity, greens, including social infrastructure, etc. in 40 percent of the land area, in a time bound manner. While, the DE/consortium shall take up internal development of land under residential, commercial and public and semi-public facilities.
Green building norms to be complied:
New developments under the land pooling policy shall comply with the mandatory green building norms as prescribed in the MPD and building bylaws. They will incorporate principles like dual pipeline, maximum use of recycled water for non-potable purposes, conservation of rain water, zero waste technology etc. Minimum 10 percent of all energy consumption shall be through solar power or through other renewable energy sources.
Single window mechanism for implementation of the policy:
Keeping in line with the goal of ‘ease of doing business’, a single window system has been created for implementation of policy in DDA. All processes of receiving applications, verifications, grant of approvals and licenses, etc. will be completed in a time bound manner. A two-stage Grievance Redressal Mechanism within DDA has been introduced for transparent and people friendly implementation of the policy, the release from the office of LG said.
Urban planners say success of the policy depends on the "intent, ability and pace":
While urban planners and experts have welcomed the move, they have raised concerns on the efficacy of the policy. Ramesh Menon from Certes Realty said, "While most would contend better late than never, in its current form, it may not meet the expectations of all stakeholders. Approving the policy is an executive decision, which is welcome. The measure of success would depend on the intent, ability and pace of operationalisation".
Menon said that the uniform return of land at the rate of  60 percent is welcome as the policy needs to be fair towards large and small landowners.
Also, while the intent of "achieving a vertical mix of uses at building level" appears progressive on paper, it can only be implemented around larger roads, and the FAR of 200 is a deterrent for the same.
Menon questioned if DDA would keep track of the dynamic database, and share an MIS on the extent of pooling achieved (%) on any particular date. For the same, the sectors need to be defined before inviting applications, including the total area within each sector, alignment and width of all approach roads and sector roads, exact access / ingress / egress etc. so that landowners, investment consultants and prospective DEs can plan their partnership strategy, taking into account the socio-economic realities.
Pankaj Bajaj, President of CREDAI-NCR said, "Whether land pooling can work in entirety in a place like Delhi is doubtful, especially for land required for laying essential trunk services like sector roads, trunk drainage, sewer systems and centralised services like STP, water pumping stations and electrical supply stations. Some element of compulsory land acquisition is unfortunately unavoidable, but that is stymied by the current shape of the Land Acquisition Act under which no land acquisition is practically possible in Delhi. An ideal development model for Delhi would have been a hybrid of land pooling and compulsory acquisition of residual lands required for trunk services."


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