The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) on Thursday placed the proposed amendments to the Delhi Development Act 1957 on its website for public feedback and comments.
One of the proposed amendments is to make land pooling mandatory in areas where a minimum of 70% of landowners agree to pool in their land parcels. However, another amendment looks to give powers to the Centre to declare pooling mandatory, even if the minimum threshold is not achieved.
According to a notice issued by MoHUA, dated August 18, the decision comes as part of a “pre-legislative consultation” with the public and the stakeholders over the next 30 days.
The proposed amendments — which were announced by Union Minister Hardeep Puri on March 8 — are aimed at eliminating roadblocks in the Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) Land Pooling Policy (LPP), in which the urban body plays the role of a facilitator.
In its notice, the MoHUA highlighted that as of July 27, a total of 6973 applicants, with 7,317 hectares of land, have expressed interest in the LPP. However, this area is only 38.36% of the total land (19,074 hectares) that has been earmarked for land pooling.
Notified on two occasions, in 2013 and 2018, the land pooling policy is aimed at providing 17 lakh dwelling units — including five lakh units for economically weaker sections — for a population of roughly 80 lakh people.
The MoHUA in its notice stated that in its present shape, the LPP does “not address many key issues like compulsory land pooling for optimal planning, conferment of land title after redistribution of land and clarity about the levying of stamp duty on redistribution of land among other issues.”
Though the DDA has stated that it has achieved the minimum participation rate in various sectors, the other condition — 70% of contiguous land is required to attain eligibility for forming a landowners’ consortium in a sector — is yet to be fulfilled, because of which no development work has been carried out in any sector since the policy was first notified back in 2013.
“The objective of the 1957 Act is to acquire land, develop it and dispose of it. However, in the land pooling policy, this legal backing, even in terms of transferable development rights, is not there. These amendments are crucial in fulfilling that requirement and removing the roadblocks,” said a senior DDA official.