The ‘farm’ story so far
Here’s the lowdown on the Capital’s farmhouses, now estimated to be close to 3000
In Delhi, as per a survey conducted by the civic body about three years ago, there were 2800 farmhouses dotting about 7500 acres. Officials estimate that the number of farmhouses now might well be close to 3000, covering 10,000 acres. While in various states land comes under the purview of the state government, in Delhi it is under the Central government. Officials said that in the last two decades around 5000 acres of land had been notified in 13 villages by the union urban development ministry.
All farmhouses on the notified land stood to be affected by the acquisition notification and the matter went to court.
After a long legal battle, the court reportedly held (in 2009) that the land can be acquired. Following protests by those who were to be impacted by the acquisition notices or had constructed beyond the permissible limit, the government provided protection to the farmhouses with the rider that nothing was to change till the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) formulated a policy in consultation with stakeholders. The present deadline for withholding action on the acquisition is December 31 this year. It is expected that the government will make the farmhouse policy before that.
Whether the DDA will accommodate the objections by the non-official members or roll out the highly-generous concessions to not just the existing farmhouses but also to those yet to come up, remains to be seen.