DDA land pooling: Title will remain with owners
NEW DELHI: The urban development ministry has tweaked its ambitious land pooling policy due to lack of manpower and efficient mechanism in Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to prevent encroachment of land.
A press statement issued by the ministry on Thursday stated that DDA, Delhi’s largest landowning agency, will no longer execute land pooling, but would act as a mere facilitator and planner. The decision was taken to make the process simpler and for speedy execution, it said.
“Originally, land pooled under the policy was to be transferred to DDA, which was to act as the developer entity and undertake further sectoral planning and development of infrastructure in the pooled land. The ministry has decided to do away with this and the land title will continue to be with the original land owners,” said the statement.
The changes were approved during a meeting chaired by minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri in which Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, housing and urban affairs secretary Durga Shanker Mishra, DDA vice-chairman Udai Pratap Singh were also present.
NO PVT LAND FOR DDA
A senior DDA official, privy to the development said, the changes were made as the authority has no adequate system and manpower to prevent encroachment. “After the examination of the issue of possible illegal occupation of land designated for development under the land pooling policy, it has been decided that the DDA will not acquire land title or its physical possession. The DDA has been unable to stop squatters. If private land is gone, it will lead to legal cases,” the official said.
Citing shortage of enforce- ment staff as the biggest issue, the official further said the entire process to develop infrastructure under the policy is going to take at least three-five years. Therefore, the challenge before the authority was how to keep the land mafia or encroachers at bay in this period of time.
“The other complication we anticipated was that the owner himself might allow encroachment or sell land after handing it over to the DDA. Considering all these possibilities, the policy was altered,” he said.
“The DDA will not be a custodian. Roads will be built by the PWD or the concerned agency. We will issue licence to the land owner after taking over our share in developed land after the proc- ess’ completion,” he added.
DDA WILL NO LONGER EXECUTE LAND POOLING, BUT WOULD ACT AS A FACILITATOR, PLANNER
SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS
According to the land pooling policy, land owners can pool their land and hand it over to the DDA for developing it before returning to the owner.
The authority has been directed to immediately initiate spatial and services planning for the five zones covered under the policy. It has also been directed to prepare regulation within a month to ‘simplify the process’. “The DDA was directed to formulate necessary regulations under the policy in accordance with the changes in a months’ time. The agency was also asked to ensure single window clearance mechanism,” the statement read.