Delhi government paves way for affordable housing

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal LG LG Anil Baijal, Delhi Delhi news Delhi LG Anil Baijal projects in Delhi speed up projects in Delhi Indian Express India news

Lt Governor Anil Baijal

Sources said this decision was taken to help the government keep the gram sabha land for its own infrastructure projects after the villages handed over their land to DDA for pooling. They are planning on declaring 89 villages as part of urban areas.

The policy in its concept still remains a novel idea as it aimed to solve the issues faced by the nodal body in acquiring land in the prime city, due to fragmented land holdings and higher compensation payable in the wake of increased land valuations.

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi's notification of 89 rural villages to urban areas has again brought to the fore the Land Pooling Policy of Delhi, which has been gathering dust for almost two years now. "We can then get the work started", Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday.

Under the DDA Land Pooling Policy (LPP), residents of urban villages can pool their land and hand it over to the DDA for construction of basic infrastructure like roads.

The main feature of the policy, according to Mr Jain, is that housing projects could be developed by builders on the returned agricultural land of farmers.

He said the DDA had also agreed to give land free of cost to the Delhi government for building schools, hospitals and other public facilities.

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As per DDA estimates, building 2.5 lakh houses, including 50,000 EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) units, will require 1,000 hectare of land.

The matter had been pending for more than two years as the Delhi government had been demanding the DDA to introduce a clause in the policy that 10% of the developed land will be allocated to the Delhi government in order to carry out social sector services like construction of schools and hospitals. He said, "It would fill up Delhi's infrastructural deficit that has led to cropping up of unauthorised colonies". Recently, DDA issued a notice warning people that land pooling policy was yet to be operationalised.

With the help of better infrastructure and readily available public amenities, the land pooled by the owners sees a substantial increase in its price after a few years of development.

In case DDA delays the development of the pooled land, it will pay penalty to the landowners/farmers of 2 per cent of the External Development Charges (EDC) for the first two years and 3 per cent for the period thereafter in case of delay beyond the completion of the project or five years, whichever is later.

According to Sharma, this policy has the potential to change the dynamics of the residential market in NCR by boosting the supply of affordably priced apartment units within the geography of Delhi.

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