Interest in DDA’s land pooling wanes further

Few takers: The DDA received only 19 applications during the most recent extension of deadline. File

Few takers: The DDA received only 19 applications during the most recent extension of deadline. File | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) received only 19 applications, and only 12.6 additional hectares were registered in the scheme, during the most recent extension the agency gave on its deadline for receiving land pooling applications – from January 24 to February 28, according to the data provided by the agency. 

The area registered – since the window was first opened in February 2019 – is 7275.45 hectares from a total of 6922 applications.

Former DDA Commissioner (Planning), A.K. Jain said that the figures from the latest window for land pooling “are an indication that the land pooling policy is not going to work.” He added, “even the DDA’s latest budget does not have any mention of the policy. A bold step has to be taken, the whole policy has to be seen from a fresh perspective and a fresh set of experts have to be brought on board.”

Speaking to The Hindu, a senior DDA official said that the window for applications will not be extended immediately, because the agency “has not received any requests”, while admitting that the participation this time around has been low.

He added, “We will reopen the window for applications when required. For the previous extensions, we had received many requests”.

Low participation

The Hindu had earlier reported that many participants who had expressed their interest in the scheme were now looking to back out due to two major factors - changes announced in the policy and the slow pace of developmental works in the area. The policy was first notified nine years ago.

From November 10, 2021, to January 24, 2022, the DDA received a total of 271 applications while 331.9 hectares of area was registered during the window.

Currently, a total of 104 villages – divided into six zones and further categorised into sectors – have been identified for land pooling. The agency has identified 16 high priority sectors falling under Zones: L, N, and P-II – citing robust participation as the reason for high priority.

During the extended window — from January 24 to February 28, the registered area, in hectares, from these zones stood at: 5.9, 3.4, and 2.9 respectively; while a total of 18 applications were received from the three zones – out of 19 applications received during the window. 

As of February 28, the total area in Zones: L, N, and P-II, stands at 2137.9 hectares, 3455.8 hectares, and 1358.4 hectares, respectively. 

Applicants’ response

Responding to the participation in the latest window, former participants said that “it will further add to delay in executing the policy”.

“We need results, the sectors where DDA says that the participation is high, have not seen any development. It sends a message that they don’t want to do any work, so why should people surrender their land,” wondered Satish Aggarwal of the Federation of Housing Societies and Developers in Delhi.

According to the policy, 60% of the land will be utilised by the owners or developer entity for the purpose of developing residential and commercial facilities. However, 40% of the land will be surrendered to service providing agencies, such as the DDA, for infrastructural developments. 

In Zone P-1, only one application was received and 0.4 hectares of land was registered, while Zone-J witnessed no participation, during the latest window.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 3:48:18 pm |