Taking a leaf out of Gujarat model of land acquisition, the UP government is mulling the idea of 'land pooling' from individual land holders to execute its various ambitious housing and other developmental projects.
The novel concept envisages government developing an individual land holding for higher evaluation and subsequently taking over part of it for its own projects. The remaining land is then returned to the owners who can partner with real estate developers to build apartments and residential properties.
According to sources in the UP housing and urban planning department, the land required by the authority shall vest in the authority, free from all encumbrances. The authority will hand over possession of the final plots to the owners to whom they are allotted in the land pooling scheme. A permanent tribunal for this scheme is also proposed to be constituted, sources said.
"The problem of land shortage is posing a serious challenge for the projects. This scheme can address the problem to a significant extent," director, Awas Bandhu, SK Srivastava told TOI, while confirming that the state government was working on the land pooling policy.
UP government has been facing acute shortage of land bank to carry out many of its projects. Records available with the department of housing and urban planning department show that 34 development authorities and Uttar Pradesh Housing Board (UPHB) together have only 4,700 hectares of land with them. Of this, around 2,200 hectares, that is nearly half of the total, is with UPHB.
Records also show that at least 10 districts, including PM's constituency Varanasi, does not have an inch of land available for any housing or another development project.
The scheme, UP government sources said, has been applied in Gujarat where individuals would share their unutilized - often barren - land with the state government for development and subsequent higher evaluation. Once developed, the government takes over around 60-75% of the land for its own projects, leaving 25-40% with the individual. "This way both the individual, as well as the government, get benefited," said an official.
Source: Economic Times, Lucknow