‘New land pooling policy will deprive people of affordable housing’

New Delhi, June 21 : A housing society group on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure implementation of earlier approved Land Pooling Policy, as the new policy will deprive people of affordable housing in some parts of the national capital, and also warned of an agitation if this was not done.

The Federation of Housing Societies and Developers in Delhi (FEDHSDD), which held a day-long protest at the Delhi Development Authority's (DDA) office, also wrote to Modi demanding immediate rollback of modified land pooling policy as it will "increase the cost of homes by 40-50 per cent and affect more than 40,000 people who have invested under the policy".

"This sudden spike in rates is because the DDA, in its modified policy, has brought down the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) from 400 to 180.

This change defeats the main purpose of affordable housing and will lead to the growth of unauthorized colonies in Delhi," FEDHSDD Secretary Satish Aggarwal told the media here.

"We will go to the Prime Minister's office and go on a hunger strike if our demands are not met," he said.

Aggarwal has also alleged that the DDA has taken a "U-turn" on their 2013 land pooling policy notification and arbitrarily modified the policy to benefit large developers and builders by reducing FARs, making one-time payment of External Development Charges (EDC) mandatory and by making provision of consortium necessary.

According to the newly-proposed modification, he claimed that "a few private developers will take over the role of DDA as a consolidator and facilitator".

"It is a nexus between DDA and big builders to deprive cooperative housing societies to get affordable homes.

In a very haphazard and arbitrary manner, DDA has tried to skirt all its responsibilities. It is a ploy to kill cooperative housing movement to favour big builders. We will not allow this to happen," Aggarwal said.

He also pointed out that the earlier policy would have provided at least 25 lakh affordable homes to people including 50,000 homes to people in the economically weaker section (EWS) category.

"The people of Delhi have invested approximately Rs 35,000 crore in it.

Previously, all the stakeholders and farmers were satisfied with the provisions but now, from where will we manage the extra money," he said.

The Federation, with thousands of its members and farmers, are planning to hold a big protest to pressurize DDA to revert its decision.

"Farmers who have sold their land in the proposed zone in north Delhi are up in arms against DDA and have threatened to launch a big protest.

The Federation has given several letters to the DDA Vice Chairman and has also written to Prime Minister Modi to resolve the issue, but the government has failed to listen to our suggestions," Aggarwal said.

Meanwhile, DDA on Wednesday said that a public hearing on the land pooling policy will be conducted on July 2 and 3.



Source: IANS