Delhi’s Land Pooling Policy Faces Slow Uptake Despite DDA’s Efforts

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    Delhi’s ambitious Land Pooling Policy of 2018, aimed at the comprehensive development of 105 villages across five zones (P-II, K-I, L, N, and J), is experiencing a sluggish start, despite the Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) recent efforts to encourage participation.

    The Land Pooling Policy hinges on landowners forming consortiums to aggregate at least 70% of contiguous and unencumbered land, with the goal of bringing urban amenities such as affordable housing, shopping centers, an efficient transport system, schools, parks, and hospitals to these villages. The policy mandates that land pooling must be executed based on sectors delineated in the zonal development plans.

    DDA initiated a three-month window, running from August 21 to November 18, to facilitate landowners’ registration and engagement in this endeavor. Surprisingly, the response has been tepid, with not a single consortium application received by the authority as of October 7.

    Local villagers have voiced concerns, contending that effective implementation of land pooling is contingent upon the passing of proposed amendments to the Delhi Development (DD) Act, 1957, in Parliament and the notification of the Delhi Master Plan, 2041.

    “To encourage people in identified villages to participate in the policy, we opened the seventh application window on August 21. No application has been received for the formation of a consortium till date. For Sector 3 in zone P II, a revised agreement in accordance with the Land Pooling Regulation, 2018, was sought from the consortium,” a DDA official noted.

    Recognizing the need for motivation, DDA has taken steps to address these challenges. They have established a helpdesk at the DDA office complex in Pitampura, aimed at assisting landowners in the application process. Furthermore, DDA has made some progress, registering 24.6 hectares on the land pooling portal and issuing provisional and final notices for consortium formation in 15 sectors, divided into three zones.

    To overcome operational impediments and infuse flexibility into the process, DDA has proposed amendments to the DD Act, 1957. These revisions are intended to empower the central government to mandate land pooling, even if the minimum eligibility criteria are not met.

    Bhupinder Bazad, president of the master plan committee of the Delhi Dehat Vikas Manch, underscores the villagers’ concerns and the impatience surrounding the amendments and the notification of MPD, 2041. While one consortium has been formed, development remains stalled until these legislative changes come to fruition.

    Delhi’s Land Pooling Policy is a substantial vision that seeks to transform the city’s villages into modern urban areas, complete with essential amenities. The sluggish start serves as a reminder of the complexities inherent in urban development and the importance of supportive legal and regulatory frameworks.

    Also Read: DDA’s Mega Auction of 453 Properties: 10 Key Details

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