Delhi government to turn 89 villages into urban areas with land pooling

Satyendar Jain

Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain

In a bid to make housing in the national capital affordable, the Delhi government on Wednesday declared 89 villages as urban areas which will help the authorities develop infrastructure projects in such localities.

The dispute between the Delhi Government and the DDA on certain rule amendments saw the policy go nowhere, while unscrupulous elements announced projects and collected monies from naïve buyers with the promise of a house in Delhi.

Stuck for almost two years, the policy was finally given the green light when Urban Development Department of the Delhi government issued a notification after Lt. Governor Anil Baijal approved the Delhi Development Authority's (DDA) Land-Pooling Policy (LPP).

"Our main issue with the DDA was with regard to government's requirement for land for social welfare purposes".

The decision had been pending for about two years as the Aam Aadmi Party government demanded that it be given 10% of the land for making schools and hospitals.

"The DDA has agreed to give us the land, free of cost as and when we need it", Jain said.

As the acquisition of land has become a controversial subject, planned urban growth had become even more hard.

With 89 villages being declared as urbanised, the number of such villages in the city has gone to around 95. The DDA's Master Plan Delhi (MPD) 2021, which proposes construction of 25 lakh new housing units by 2021 is likely to get a boost. Of these 50 are in north Delhi and another 39 are in south Delhi. CM Arvind Kejriwal had said that we would notify the matter immediately after MCD elections. With the land owner being in direct control of the development, the land pooling policy is being seen as the future of urbanisation in the capital.

However, the actual quantum of "development areas" land will only be known once the notification is issued under Section 12 of the DDA Act. The scheme, he said, was optional, adding that "it appeared that most people would want to participate in the scheme". "The Delhi government will notify as development areas the 89 villages that were declared as urban areas two days ago", he said. He further said the plan would allow the construction of "multi-storeyed flats" and "towers", instead of plotted developments.

The enhanced ground coverage of 40% under this policy, as against the existing 33%, is to promote private sector participation with land consolidation and development being the domain of private players, while DDA assumes a larger role of a facilitator.

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