No vacant land in sight, Chandigarh admn to shelve land pooling policy - Hindustan Times
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No vacant land in sight, Chandigarh admn to shelve land pooling policy

By, Chandigarh
Jul 04, 2022 02:49 AM IST

The land pooling policy was aimed at bringing the development of city’s villages on par with developed sectors, also mandated by the Chandigarh Master Plan-2031

Faced with paucity of vacant land, the UT administration has all but shelved its plans to formulate a land pooling policy for Chandigarh villages after working on it for nearly two years.

Instead of land pooling policy, the Chandigarh administration is now exploring other options for village development. (HT Photo)
Instead of land pooling policy, the Chandigarh administration is now exploring other options for village development. (HT Photo)

Instead, the administration is now exploring other options for village development.

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UT adviser Dharam Pal said, “We are looking at alternatives to land pooling policy, as there is not much vacant land in Chandigarh. Among various options, we are examining cluster development models, as adopted in Maharashtra.”

The land pooling policy was aimed at bringing the development of city’s villages on par with developed sectors, also mandated by the Chandigarh Master Plan - 2031.

Under it, land owners were to pool their land, and the administration was to consolidate it, design the layout and develop the infrastructure. Any land pocket could be developed for new residential, commercial or institutional projects with unified planning and servicing.

“Cost recovery for administration was from the sale of some of the plots and the remaining plots could be distributed among the landowners to develop or sell for development,” said a UT official.

Under cluster development, now being explored by the administration, houses are built closer together on a specific plot of land, rather than distributed uniformly on vast areas across the whole complex. The extra land is used as an open space for recreation or agriculture.

“Land consolidation will remain an issue there also. It may also involve some kind of land pooling,” said the official.

Inadequate vacant land

To formulate a land pooling and aggregation policy, the administration had even roped in the Indian Institute of Human Settlement (IISH), Bengaluru, and explored the possibility of introducing land pooling in a limited area as a pilot project.

It had also studied similar policies in other states like Punjab and Haryana. However, both states have large pieces of contiguous vacant land available for pooling that Chandigarh villages lack.

Any vacant space available is either a green area or a land earmarked for specific projects.

The issue of haphazard constructions and encroachments in villages also plagued the policy’s formulation.

The constructions, most of which are illegal, have to be demolished for the policy to have any practical value, according to experts. “It is politically and administratively not a viable option, as it will involve displacement of a large number of people,” said the official.

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