The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved the land pooling policy that is expected to see 17 lakh dwelling units come up in the national capital, of which 15 percent units will be in the affordable category. “I have signed the land pooling policy today,” Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told Moneycontrol.
The land pooling policy was cleared by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at its board meeting in September after almost five years. It covers any urbanisable area of urban extensions in 95 villages. With a floor area ratio (FAR) of 200, Delhi’s 76 lakh people will be accommodated in these homes. To promote affordable and inclusive housing, 15 percent FAR, over and above the permissible FAR, has been allowed for economically weaker sections (EWS).
The policy covers greenfield areas in five zones, including J, K-1, L, N and P-II, which come under the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 (MPD).
“It is the step in the right direction. It was long awaited but the real challenge lies ahead for Delhi Development Authority on how fast they operationalise the pooling mechanism and initiate measures to attract large investments from institutional capital,” says Ramesh Menon of Certes Realty.
The land pooling policy will now have to go through two more steps. The Ministry will have to issue a gazette notification, following which it goes back to DDA for operationalisation.
As part of the land pooling policy, DDA will act as a facilitator and planner while the process of pooling and development will be undertaken by developer entities or the consortium. A single window mechanism has been created for implementation of the policy.
Land owners having land of any size can participate in the policy, however, the minimum area to be taken up for development would be two hectares. A developer entity (DE) or an individual can participate in the scheme by pooling land parcels covered under a sector as per the Zonal Development Plan.
For planning and development of infrastructure, integrated sector-based planning approach shall be followed. A sector will comprise 250-300 hectares of land. Once the minimum 70 percent contiguous land of developable area, free of encumbrances, within a sector is assembled, such sectors will be eligible for development under the policy, where any individual, DE or consortium with minimum two hectares of land can take up development.
Menon said while land pooling will be a good opportunity for high networth individuals to invest in land, homebuyers are cautioned to stay away till licences are issued by DDA.
Various notifications and judicial orders explicitly prohibit any marketing and sales of real estate projects without a valid licence to build and prior registration with Real Estate Regulatory Authority authorities. Many a projects advertised by quasi developers in Delhi have neither, and DDA has already cautioned prospective buyers.