Delhi Development Act: Government Proposes Mandatory Land Pooling

Snapshot

This step will make it obligatory for all landowners to pool their properties, once 70 per cent of the developable area in an identified sector is pooled.

 

The government has proposed amendments to the Delhi Development Act to include the provision of ‘mandatory land pooling’. This step will make it obligatory for all landowners to pool their properties, once 70 per cent of the developable area in an identified sector is pooled.

It also proposes that the Centre would have the power to declare mandatory pooling even if this minimum threshold of 70 per cent has not been achieved “to ensure time bound planned development”.

Currently, the land pooling policy in Delhi is a voluntary participation scheme which means the land owners are not forced to pool their land. They form a registered consortium consisting of multiple landowners and developer entities to pool land for unified planning, servicing and subdivision for development of sectors.

The proposed changes were announced by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the government said this was becoming necessary.

The policy, which was aimed at changing the skyline of Outer Delhi areas, has not yet taken off even more than three years after the DDA notified it. The preparation for the policy had started way back in 2013. They claimed that the changes have been proposed considering the difficulties in its implementation on the ground.

According to the policy, a sector will be eligible for development under the land pooling policy when minimum 70 per cent of the developable area in the sector has been pooled and the pooled land parcels are contiguous. The entire pooled land must be bounded on at least one side by a road of minimum 30 metres.

The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said the entire notified land pooling area is divided into 129 sectors and each sector is about 100-200 hectares. The web portal for showing willingness to participate in the scheme has been opened five times since the launch of the policy.

So far overall, owners of 36 per cent of the area in the land pooling area have shown willingness. The DDA has identified 16 priority sector areas wherein around 70 per cent or more areas have been pooled. In four sectors, around 70 per cent or more land has been registered and verified for formation of consortium.

“However, in spite of having achieved 70 per cent, there are khasra(s) in the pooled land that are under multiple ownership, and where all the owners have not indicated their willingness for participation in land pooling. Due to this ‘part participation’, none of the sectors are ‘absolutely contiguous’ even the sectors where land parcels meet the 70 per cent criteria. This is a major obstacle in moving ahead with the implementation of the policy,” the ministry maintained.

As per the proposed change, since mandatory pooling will be on the lines of consolidation, hence those who would have to mandatorily pool their land would get another land in some other area.

The DDA vice chairman Manish Kumar Gupta said the government has approved that the authority will issue conditional notice for formation of consortium for the eligible sectors (where 70 per cent land is pooled), stating that the consortium would ensure proper contiguity of all the partially participated khasras at the time of filing the implementation plan.

The government has also proposed to have designated officers as land pooling and urban regeneration officers for facilitating the land pooling policy. The officer will prepare the sector plan and notify it. There would also be a provision for redressing grievances of the stakeholders.

The government has also proposed exemption from multiplicity of stamp duty and registration charges on deeds of exchange on reconstitution and distribution of land parcels.

It is also introducing the transferable development right (TDR) to construct or develop floor area to persons who have not been able to utilise permissible FAR on their own plots which can be transferred, exchanged, bought and sold. The consortiums will have to be legal entities under the Companies Act or Cooperative Society Act.