Millennium Post

Pooling for boom

The real estate gurus may be divided over <g data-gr-id="143">impact</g> in the real estate market when Delhi’s <g data-gr-id="79">much awaited</g> Land Pooling Policy starts adding housing units but the land sharks have already started harvesting the benefit. A number of property dealers have cropped up in the area, who are using all the platforms from traditional to Internet marketing all types of lands, plots and flats in the notified area, with a tag – under the land pooling policy approved by DDA.

“The property dealers are selling the land in various forms – agricultural land, plots and flats; in the area notified for land pooling policy. These <g data-gr-id="107">deals however</g> have no legal status but purchasing agricultural land is safest among them as it gives the purchaser all the rights of a farmer. The purchasers are who form groups <g data-gr-id="105">to pool their money to purchase agriculture land in the area</g> are also on <g data-gr-id="104">safer</g> side,” said Sanjay Sharma, Managing Director of Gurgaon-based real estate group Qubrex. 

“The builders who are selling constructed flats and buildings in the zone are just adding more unauthorised colonies in the city and may spoil the scheme,” he added. After the notification of the policy by DDA on May 27, <g data-gr-id="103">2015</g> the property prices have surged and have become two to three times in comparison to last year.

“The property prices registered an increase in the area since last two years but surged after announcement of the policy as builders are using the notification of DDA to win confidence of the investors,” explained Sharma. The property dealers and builders in the area use “as per land pooling 
policy” and “smart city” in their booklets and pump-lets to sell their projects to the investors.

Agricultural land is now being sold at Rs 4.4.5 crore per acre in the vicinity of Najafgarh which was around Rs 1 to Rs 1.5 crore just a year back. The rates of constructed flats are hovering around Rs 4,250 per <g data-gr-id="75">sq</g> feet in the area are however illegal, as any type of construction is not permitted in the notified area.

“The policy was notified by Ministry of Urban Development over one month back. We have finalised the guidelines on our end but it can’t be made operational till Delhi government notifies 95 villages as urban villages,” said Neemo Dhar, spokesperson of DDA. The authority has also planned a smart city in the area besides an estimated 14-16 lakh residential units in over 100 residential projects. DDA, through the land pooling scheme, aims to get the land from farmers on voluntary basis as it has been unable to acquire any land over the last 10 years, which mandated the need for such a hybrid pooling policy, under the Delhi Master Plan 2021. After Delhi government notifies the 95 villages as urban villages, DDA expects to get 20,000 to 25,000 acres of land for development of residential and commercial projects. 

“The present population of Delhi is around 17 million and is expected to reach 23 million by 2021. As government wants houses for all we have no option but to get more land and construct more house on Public Private <g data-gr-id="121">Partenership</g> (PPP) model,” said Balvinder Kumar, former DDA Vice Chairperson who thinks land pooling policy as one of the major achievements on his tenure. DDA will also promote EWS (economic weaker section) housing units by giving 15 <g data-gr-id="74">per cent</g> extra FAR (floor area ratio) on a project.

As per the policy, the land owners will pool their land and hand it over to DDA for development to get 43 to 60 <g data-gr-id="108">per cent</g> of developed land instead of compensation. There are two categories based on the size of land – Category I land above 20 hectares and Category II land between two to 20 hectares. “The land returned to the developer entity in Category I will be 60 per cent while the remaining will be retained by the DDA. The land returned to Category II developer entities will be 48 per cent while the remaining will be retained by the DDA. Residents will be given an additional FAR of 400 if they apply for re-development through the policy. 

The additional FAR will give an incentive to the land owner,” said an official of DDA. With regard to EWS category housing, the official explained: “In case a developer constructs 100 housing units on a piece of land that has been re-developed and returned to him by the DDA, he will be under obligation to provide 15 <g data-gr-id="109">per cent</g> (15 units in this case) for EWS category housing. Of this 15 per cent, 7.5 per cent will be given to the DDA while the remaining will be retained by the developer.” EWS housing will be constructed as a separate block. The policy also has penalty clause to expedite development. 

“Any delay in completion of the development by Land Pooling Agency, DDA shall pay a penalty of two <g data-gr-id="110">per cent</g> of External Development Charges (EDC) per year for the first two years and three per cent of EDC per year thereafter to the Developer Entities (DE) (farmers/land owners) for delay beyond the date of completion of the construction by DE or five years whichever is later till the external development works are completed,” informed Dhar. The final policy also tries to accommodate small farmers and <g data-gr-id="111">land owners</g> by allowing them to merge their land with neighbouring land holding. 

“We are considering the policy and appropriate action will be taken on time,” said Nagender Sharma, spokesperson of Delhi government. The matter is reportedly pending at the Department of Urban Development of Delhi government. 

“I think the project is already delayed and land sharks are out to grab the land. Unauthorised construction is on full swing. Delhi government should make necessary changes in the law to expedite operationalisation of the scheme,” said Vijender Gupta, Leader of Opposition in Delhi assembly who is also <g data-gr-id="221">member</g> in DDA board.

The authority has also been issuing warnings against selling and purchase of properties in the area proposed for land pooling but in <g data-gr-id="219">absence</g> of <g data-gr-id="66">concreate</g> steps all these efforts are going in <g data-gr-id="67">vein</g>.
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