Making Delhi a Smart City

Delhi smart cityWith rapid urbanisation, NCR is set to become a megapolis. Is the Capital set for a new skyline?

On June 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the ambitious Rs. 48,000-crore Smart City project. For the Capital, the project is bound to catalyse urbanisation with several “Smart Sub-Cities” expected to come up in the future. The Centre has already cleared the decks for implementation of the project by introducing the “Land Pooling Policy”.

For Delhi, the biggest curse has been unplanned urbanisation. Failure to deal with rampant unauthorised construction along with multiplicity of authority has weakened any remote scope of “development through blueprints”. In fact, the situation is so watertight that the land-owning agency, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), has been unable to acquire a single additional plot for over a decade now. Further, Delhi’s population is expected to increase from 1.82 crore to 2.3 crore in just six years. In such a scenario, the only way is to look beyond the haphazardly developed city and focus on its fringes. The Land Pooling or Land Assembly policy will play a pivotal role here as it would make the concept of unauthorised colonies obsolete by bringing in fundamental changes in acquisition and development of land. It is expected that 20,000-25,000 hectares of land will be unlocked through this policy, thereby resulting in the creation of 24 lakh houses.

What is Land Pooling Policy?

Under the policy, interested land owners can surrender their land and give it to the DDA along with a development charge. The DDA, in turn, will give the land to real estate developers. Once developed, the developer entity or land owners who surrendered their land will get back 48 per cent or 60 per cent of what they pooled in. The rest of the developed area — 52 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively — will be retained by DDA or the private builder who can put it on sale. The housing and commercial projects will have to be developed within seven years. Additional time will be given only on payment of a penalty.

Once implemented in Delhi, the project can also be carried forward to the National Capital Region (NCR).

How will the Sub-Cities be created?

The plots surrendered will be clubbed for holistic development, leading to the creation of several sub-cities. Land owners can also assemble lands through mutual agreement and give it as one large plot to the DDA. The DDA in its zonal plans has ear-marked specific usages of land in these areas with developers building the sub-cities according to a prescribed blueprint. There are nine land use categories that include residential, commercial, industry, transportation, utility, public and semi-public facility, recreational, among others.

How will they become “Smart Sub-Cities”?

The Government of India (GoI) will announce the “Guidelines to Smart Cities” on June 25. It will be binding on private developers and the DDA to ensure that these are followed. The smart sub-cities will have 24-hour water and power supply, high-speed wi-fi connectivity, Transit-Oriented Development Model, efficient solid-waste management system and green buildings.

Two major Smart Cities in the making

If experts are to be believed, Delhi is the ideal city to flag off the Smart City project. Out of the five zones, at least two — Zone L and N — have the required physical and economic characteristics to evolve as self-sufficient smart sub-cities. ‘Zone J’ is the smallest with just one village (Neb Sarai) while ‘Zone L’, which is next to Dwarka, is the largest with an area of 22,840 hectares. It includes parts of Najafgarh, Dichaon Kalan, Qazipur, Samaspur Khalsa, etc. This is followed by ‘Zone N’, which covers an area of 13,975 hectares and includes villages like Kanjhawla, parts of Bawana, Chandpur, Salahpur Majra, and so on.

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DDA to float tenders for 3 smart cities

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NEW DELHI: Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will float the tenders for developing three integrated sub-cities in Dwarka, Narela and Rohini next month and the work for Yamuna river front development will start by October 2.

The housing and urban affairs (HUA) ministry set these timelines for DDA on Friday. It was also decided that all the three sub-cities will have the features of smart cities including round the clock water and electricity supply, 100% treatment of both solid and liquid waste, rainwater harvesting and smart lighting, to name a few. These sub-cities would be developed better than any city developed by private players in the National Capital Region, sources said.

“DDA will invite bids in the second week of August. The authority has proposed to develop integrated cities with smart features on available vacant lands at Dwarka (200 hectares), Narela (218 hectares) and Rohini (259 hectares),” a HUA ministry official said. He added that the developers will be selected by October. The decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by HUA secretary Durga Shanker Mishra and DDA vice-chairman Uday Pratap Singh besides other senior officials.

DDA has assured the ministry to start Yamuna bank development works over 500 acres along Old Railway Bridge-ITO barrage stretch October 2. It was also decided that the road between Indira Gandhi International Airport and Connaught Place will be developed to global standards by March 2020. Final drawings for this will be approved by December. One of the four alignments proposed by the consultant will be finalised early next month.

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu has said that his government’s new land pooling scheme is aimed at making the farmer the ultimate gainer, as farmers have voluntarily given up their land for infrastructure building in the bifurcated state. In an exclusive interview to ANI, Naidu said, “In the land pooling policy, the farmers are the ultimate gainers in the system. This has never happened in the history of India or even in any democratic country. Many global education institutions, international hotels, IT companies and world class infrastructure are coming here in Amravati now. I am trying my best to develop infrastructure to strengthen the economy. Once developed, you would see it as among top five global cities.”

The Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) has guaranteed the return of reconstituted land and payment of benefits to land owners per every acre voluntarily handed over. It is notified that for every acre of Jareebu (semi urban) land, 1000 square yards of residential plots and 450 square yards of commercial plots for Jareebu lands will be returned to the land owners. For dry land, 1000 square yards of residential plot and 250 square yards of commercial plots will be returned for every acre.

With a slightly different package, possessors of assigned lands, POT lands, un-objectionable government lands and even objectionable government lands, will get the benefit of returnable plots ranging from 800 square yards to 250 square yards of residential plots and 450 to 100 square yards of commercial plots per every acre they surrender to the government. Apart from that, other benefits given to farmers are per every acre annuity for crop loss will be paid Rs. 30,000 for dry and Rs. 50,000 for Jareebu lands for a period of 10 years. Ten percent of enhancement of annuity is assured.

One time additional payment up to Rs 1 lakh for gardens like lime, sapota, guava, amla and jasmine will be given and up to Rs 1.50 lakh in agriculture loans has been waived for each family. Apart from this, Rs 2,500 per landless poor family per month for a period of 10 years would be given.

NTR canteens have also been established at Velagapudi and Thullur for providing food at cheaper rates.

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Football fans can rejoice as the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is all set to make a football stadium in Dwarka. With an intake of about 18,000 people, the stadium is set to be spread across 62 acres of land, Jagran reported. Set to match international standards, the football field is going to be 105 meters long and 68 meters wide. The stadium’s construction will start this year and its location is significantly near the All India Football Federation in Dwarka. Moreover, Dwarka is accessible to the Indira Gandhi International Airport and the metro. While the stadium is made exclusively for outdoor games like football, mini football and athletics, there are facilities for indoor games as well like boxing, billiards, squash and table tennis. Sources told the Hindi daily that the stadium is being made keeping in mind the rules laid out by the international football association, FIFA. The plan was laid out a year ago but its execution will begin this year.

Accessibility has been an important takeaway of this project ensuring that ambulances and fire trucks can easily enter the place in emergency situations. Players and dignitaries will have separate entry and exit gates. Apart from the main playing field where final matches would take place, two more fields for practice and events would also be constructed. Four fields will be provided for the mini-football games. Seating arrangement would be provided for about a thousand people to watch races on the athletic track. A jogging track would border the fields. According to the report, the stadium is also set to have martial arts, aerobics, yoga, multi-gym, massage and spa, and meditation facilities.

Four fields will be provided for the mini-football games. Seating arrangement would be provided for about a thousand people to watch races on the athletic track. A jogging track would border the fields. According to the report, the stadium is also set to have martial arts, aerobics, yoga, multi-gym, massage and spa, and meditation facilities.

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Delhi government says that two of the total five zones identified for land pooling have the required physical and economic characteristics to evolve as self-sufficient sub-cities

New Delhi: The land pooling policy will fuel a housing boom in the Capital with 24 lakh dwelling units to become available in the next five years.

As per the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021, based on a projected population of 230 lakh by 2021, Delhi would require an about 24 lakh new dwelling units. Till date, the Delhi Development Authority has built only 11.69 lakh residential units in the city.

Under the policy, the owners will have an option to give their land to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for development. After the roads, and water, power, sewage lines are laid, a part of the developed land will be returned to the owners who can then build apartments on it by partnering with real estate developers.

For implementation of the policy across 89 villages which were declared urbanised on Wednesday, the areas have been divided in five zones — L, N, P-II, K-I and J. The land parcels for development fall west, north-west, south, south-west and north Delhi. The DDA claims it would see the emergence of new sub-cities such as Dwarka that came up in the late 1990s.

Planned housing is also expected to help prevent growth of illegal colonies across the city.

land pooling policy

Zone N and L best areas

Of the total five zones, at least two — Zone N and L — have the required physical and economic characteristics to evolve as self-sufficient sub-cities, the Delhi government’s urban development department said.

“Zone N is the best as it is close to NH-10 and has the highest water table of 40-60 feet. It will also be connected by extension of Rithala-Narela Metro line planned under Phase-IV,” an official said. Zone N covers an area of 13,975 hectares and includes villages like Kanjhawla, parts of Bawana, Chandpur, Salahpur Majra, and so on.

Zone L is situated next to Dwarka which recently got a new water treatment facility. It is also the largest pocket with an area of 22,840 hectares and includes parts of Najafgarh, Dichaon Kalan, Qazipur and Samaspur Khalsa.

Zone J is the smallest with just one village, Neb Sarai.


Experts say several areas earmarked for land pooling are already among Delhi’s most water-stressed zones.

“The DDA and Delhi government will have to work together to revive defunct water reservoirs in the city to meet the demand in the newly developed areas,” said Ramesh Menon, director, Certes Realty.

Development in these areas is going to be vertical leading to higher population density which would need a robust water, sewage and transport network. Dwarka was developed as a sub-city too, but it got adequate water supply only two years ago. Similarly, Vasant Kunj too was supposed to be a planned sub-city, but the area too faced water crisis.

“The success of land pooling policy would lie in the coordination between agencies like DDA, MCDs, PWD. Last mile connectivity is also going to be a challenge,” he added.

Benefit for land owners

According to the DDA, the land, which will be returned to farmers, will be like a “gold mine” as they would get fully developed residential pockets that they can later sell off at very good rate. They can even enter into an agreement with developers, which could facilitate building and selling residential units.

Those giving their land will also have to pay an External Development Charge (EDC). When asked if the EDC clause would deter owners from surrendering their plots, a DDA official said, “It is because of this that we have included the provision of waiving off EDC in lieu of 8% developed residential land. We are charging an EDC of Rs.1 crore for 1 acre of land, which comes to around Rs 2,500 per square feet. They are low by the standards in Delhi.”

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