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DDA invites public opinion on simplifying its land pooling policy
In a bid to make the land pooling policy simpler and inclusive, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has sought opinion from the citizens.

According to a public notice issued by the DDA on Saturday, within thirty days, citizens and all stake holders can send their suggestions and objections to DDA's Commissioner and Secretary in writing. The suggestions will have to be sent at the address 'B-Block, Vikas Sadan, New Delhi – 110023'. After this, the government wants to draft the land pooling policy and bring it to fruition at the earliest. The senders will also have to provide their name, address and phone number.

According to the DDA, a meeting was held on 21st December 2017 in this regard. In the meeting, DDA decided to take public opinion on the land pooling policy. It is worth noting that work on land pooling policy has been going on since September 2013, but the process was rather slow. Following the direction from Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi's LG Anil Baijal, the matter has been expedited and the work has picked up pace.

According to the information, on June 16, 2017, DDA notified its development area under which 95 villages were included. Now the government has decided to give a 60 per cent share to the developer while making major changes in land pooling policy. The land taken under land policy will be divided in the ratio of 60 and 40, that is, 40 per cent of the public facilities will be developed on land. Sixty per cent of the land will be returned to its owner, out of which 53 per cent can be used for construction of the residential units. Five per cent will be used for commercial use at the city level and two per cent for public and semi-public use. Earlier, it was decided to give 52 per cent of the DDA and 48 per cent of the land to the developer. This made both the developer and the farmer angry. Now under the new policy, both the developer and the farmer are expected to get more profit.

The policy implementation involves dividing the entire area into five zones – J, K, I, L, N and P2, as per the contours of Delhi Master Plan - 2021. The government expects to procure about 22 thousand hectares of land through its land pooling policy, over which it plans to build a large number of houses.

Under this scheme, houses will also be built for economically weaker sections of the society. In addition, the policy also has a provision to exempt the owner of the property from paying any time duty at the time of selling the land. The move is expected to provide more benefits to the owner of the property.

Talking about this, Neh Srivastava, Under Secretary, MHA & President, CSS Officers Society, said, "We certainly have some concerns with regards to the criteria being set for making the land parcel eligible for land pooling as per the amendments brought out in Public domain for suggestions & objections by DDA. The provision mandating 70% of land parcel to be contiguous is really a dampener. We have been in touch with other Societies of Govt officers/ employees from various services & PSUs, who all have same views. We are soon sending a list of suggestions to DDA asking for appointment with DDA, VC or Principal Commissioner to talk about this to make it simpler, clearer and people as well as Societies' friendly. This concern is seconded by stakeholders other than builders & developers, who are in support of delivering affordable housing with best of amenities particularly marginal land owners or Welfare Societies. I hope DDA will take into consideration our genuine concerns and notify a policy that will expedite the implementation of Land pooling policy in the letter & spirit it was made for. PMO should also keep a tab and intervene, this being our PM's dream of making it affordable n Housing for all by 2022."

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