DDA land pool­ing: Ti­tle will re­main with own­ers

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO - Parvez Sul­tan and Gu­lam Jee­lani htre­porters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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