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Pilot land pooling project planned on Chennai outskirts
The Times of India  |  January 15, 2019

Yogesh Kabirdoss Chennai

Ahead of finalising the rules for land pooling, the state government is testing them by acquiring land near Chennai for a residential project. The housing and urban development department has zeroed in on land parcels between Vandalur and Kundrathur adjoining Outer Ring Road (ORR) for the pilot project.


Official sources said the effort is to get the public to participate voluntarily. "We have not decided on the quantum of land. But, what we are looking at is that land owners volunteer their property for the project and a portion of the land will be returned as a developed plot," a senior official in the housing and urban development department told TOI. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) could be floated for executing the land pooling project. "The project could be executed either by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB), Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) or public-private participation through an SPV," the official added.


Interestingly, authorities want to explore land pooling before rules for the scheme are framed. Sources said land parcels between Chennai bypass and ORR are being looked at.


"The location is ideal because it has easy access to the main roads," the official added. The government is eyeing land in 17 places located from Mannivakkam near Tambaram to Thirunageswaram at Kundrathur.


Government sources said models adopted in Andhra Pradesh and by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) are being examined for framing the rules. The ratio for the quantum of land to be returned to the owners after developing the project is being worked out, sources said adding that this could be location-specific.


"One proposal is 60% of the pooled land to be used for the project and the remaining to be handed over as developed plots to the land owners," said the official, who is privy to the developments. The rules are expected to be notified soon. Similarly, three locations are being explored in Coimbatore under the land pooling scheme.


Former professor of urban engineering at Anna University K P Subramanian welcomed the move, but cautioned about developing satellite town within areas under CMDA. "Describing any housing development within the CMA as a satellite town is a misnomer. Land pooling is a welcome strategy adopted for housing development in lieu of land acquisition," he said adding that Gujarat and Kerala are pioneers in successfully adopting the concept of land pooling.


Last year, the state government had passed a bill amending the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, to facilitate land pooling for housing and other infrastructure projects. This was because land acquisition had turned prohibitive after the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, came into force.