The Urban Development Ministryâ€™s proposal to redraw the contours of Lutyens Bungalow Zone (LBZ) is set to meet with stiff opposition from conservationists, urban planners and landscape architects in the national capital. In response to suggestions and objections invited by the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) for the draft LBZ boundary and development guidelines, at least three prominent bodies have raised â€˜strong objectionsâ€™ to the proposal. The bodies â€“ Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Institute of Urban Designers India (IUDI) and Indian Society of Landscape Architects (ISOLS) â€“ have cited the â€˜significant negative impact on the environment and historic character of New Delhiâ€™ and called for a proper multi-disciplinary study before implementing the changes proposed by the Ministry of Urban Development. The bodies have pointed out that LBZ is a Conservation Area as defined by the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 and while conservation is a requirement in the area, the guidelines only focus on the development potential. â€œThe LBZ is another layer of Delhiâ€™s urban history. The Master Plan recognizes it as a heritage zone and the legal sanctity of the MPD 2021 should be respected,â€ said A G K Menon, convenor of INTACHâ€™s Delhi chapter. Essentially the draft proposes shrinking the LBZ from 28.73 sq km to 23.60 sq km and permitting bungalows and institutional buildings to be built higher â€” in the case of non-residential plots up to seven floors, thereby altering the floor area ratio. Areas such as Golf Links, Jor Bagh, among others, are slated to be culled out of the LBZ and allowed to â€˜developâ€™ in accordance with guidelines applicable to the rest of the capital. INTACH, a premier heritage conservation body, pointed out to the DUAC, â€œThe recommendations in the report (drafted by DUAC) if approved and implemented would be detrimental to the planned development of Delhiâ€ - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/dont-mess-with-delhis-urban-history-appeal-conservationists/#sthash.clWfgrnr.dpuf
Polluted lake near monument: Delhi High Court concerned
The Delhi high court has termed as â€œunacceptableâ€ the presence of a polluted artificial lake in the space behind the 14th century Tughlaqabad Fort and sought a definite plan from the AAP government on how it intends to clean its water. A two-judge bench of Justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva left it to the city government to hold a meeting of the persons concerned and come up with a plan while observing that nothing has happened so far since the issue was brought to its attention last year despite several directions by the court. The court said that nothing was happening and nobody wants to do anything. â€œIs your government not interested in cleaning up the water? Water lying there is unacceptable.â€ The court also suggested that biotechnology be used to clean the water by setting up a bio-diversity park there, if land was not available for setting up a sewage treatment plant or sewage pumping station, even as it wondered why officials of the DDA, the DJB and the city government were not thinking about these methods. According to the Delhi Jal Board, it needs 2.5 acres of land to set up a STP and 0.5 acres for a SPS and it has written to the Delhi Development Authority for the allotment of an appropriate site for the same. The court gave the Delhi government time till November 4 to submit its plan after holding a meeting of the persons concerned after it told the bench that it needs time to coordinate with DDA for devising a concrete plan. The court also asked the DDA to consider providing land to the DJB for either of the two alternatives, saying all the steps would go towards nurturing the forest present there and for maintaining it as a green belt as per the objective of Master Plan 2021. The court made these observations while hearing a PIL filed by one Manoj Kumar who has claimed that there was a forested area near Tughlaqabad Fort on the DDA land and local residents were running illegal factories using chemicals and their polluted, hazardous water was flowing into the forest which has created an â€œartificial lakeâ€ Mr Kumar claimed that animals, including monkeys, peacocks, deer and birds, were drinking the polluted water and dying in large numbers. http://www.asianage.com/delhi/polluted-lake-near-monument-delhi-high-court-concerned-134
Why cycle stands only at 4 Metro stns: Rai
NEW DELHI: Cycling enthusiasts have reason to cheer because they are at last being seen as part of the solution to the last-mile connectivity problem of the Delhi Metro. At a meeting with civic agencies to discuss decongesting Delhi, state transport minister Gopal Rai hauled up the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for failing to provide more bicycle stands at its stations. "Cycles can provide people the much-needed connectivity with the Metro," the minister said. But ignorant of the role that bicycles can play in easing traffic woes, the Delhi Metro has parking facilities for cycles at only four stations: Saket, Hauz Khas, Akshardham and Vishwavidyalaya. While there are 25 slots at the Vishwavidyalaya station, which caters to Delhi University students, the others accommodate 20 cycles each. Vedpal, who had filed an RTI application for information on the matter, was aghast to find that the DMRC accorded little importance to cyclists. "We talk about improving public transport and yet the Delhi Metro thinks four stations are adequate for a population of several crores," said the RTI activist. The transport minister, equally taken aback, said DMRC was losing out on a great opportunity. "Cycles are an easy way to reach a metro station from home or office," said Rai. "I have asked for more cycle parking stands as well as rentals to come up at Metro stations as soon as possible." http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Why-cycle-stands-only-at-4-Metro-stns-Rai/articleshow/49066789.cms
5 high risk realty destinations in Delhi NCR
Although the country’s northern real estate markets are fast developing, the entire NCR’s (National Capital Region) realty sector is plagued with several problems. Oversupply of realty spaces, delays in delivery of projects, proposed infrastructure projects that never saw the light of day and many more factors have made the market unsuitable for many home buyers. Here are a few regions that are best avoided when it comes to making realty investments in NCR. Gurgaon A general piece of advice that a home buyer is given while investing in a property here is to be prepared for the delays. Gurgaon’s market is flooded with many small and medium developers who do not abide by their deadlines for projects. Most of the housing schemes force home buyers to make bulk payments upfront. Buyers end up paying higher square feet rates for such projects. The realty market of Gurgaon is not only overpriced but slow development of physical infrastructure too is pushing the sector into a zone where appreciation is minimum or rare. But if you are an end user, there are many projects which offer ready to move in apartments in certain sectors of the city which will serve your needs. Greater Faridabad While Faridabad has recently emerged as a residential hotspot, its newly developed neighbour is becoming infamous for being a region where home owners need to be extremely wary about properties. Buildings on land tracts which are under litigation and delivery delays have ensured the region remains one of the least favourite realty destinations amongst first time home buyers. Despite its affordable offerings, the regions has not documented high ROI in the recent years. Its proximity to the capital via several arterial roads or the under construction metro project has not helped in reviving its realty sector. The newly built highway to Gurgaon has not helped turn the situation around. The poor track record of developers along Faridabad and Greater Faridabad has pushed many property seekers to delay their home buying decision. If these issues were not enough to push home buyers away the delays and mix ups in allotted plots too has forced many to invest elsewhere. L & J zones in Delhi The changes done to the land pooling schemes have brought several peripheries like L and J under the scanner. Retail buyers and off shore investors should stay away from these so called ‘lucrative’ schemes. But if you are a buyer who wants to invest in farm houses then these regions are apt for you. The lack of basic civic amenities and physical infrastructure has turned these regions into investment options as they are not really end user friendly. Noida Extension Land acquisition issues and an over supplied realty market are some of the issues that are plaguing this region. The delays in delivery of projects too has dissuaded several home buyers from investing in properties here. The disproportionate realty supply has pushed many home buyers to invest in other attractive regions like Ghaziabad. Despite having a good road network, the heavy traffic congestion is making this concrete jungle less appealing to buyers. Nidhi C Thacker for IndiaProperty.com Image: https://pixabay.com/en/real-estate-building-531610/ By: indiaproperty.com Read more at: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/real-estate/5-high-risk-realty-destinationsdelhi-ncr_3215321.html#anchore_top_strip?utm_source=ref_article
Why these 9 North Indian cities are good investment bets
Despite the real estate sector going through a rough patch for almost an year, it still makes sense to invest in properties which promise a long-term return. “The global share markets are quite volatile, and despite India’s positive mid-to-long term economic outlook, it is not untouched by these choppy waters. A lot of hard-won investor wealth has been eroded in the recent past. In these uncertain market conditions, it makes sense to regenerate one’s faith in real estate investments which can fortify and enhance capital,” says Ashwinder Raj Singh, CEO – residential services, JLL India. Investors can reap in impressive rewards if they choose a good destination along with a reliable developer after a good research on the city and its market. Shortlisting and selecting a property is a one time process, but considered to be a time-consuming exercise. The city one should invest in should be identified through its economic drivers. With the help of real estate players, we identify nine cities in North India that are great investment options due to their locations, infrastructure, healthy investment climate for industrial and related activities, and are affordable too. Affordability quotient plays an important role in investor’s decision and is a major catalyst in driving realty demand. Experts, however, put a word of caution before investing in these five cities. “It is important for the investor to choose the right asset class, partnering with the right developer, making sure projects have obtained approvals, economic pull factors which will drive future growth in a location, return expectations in terms of rentals and capital appreciation – and, very importantly – the right investment horizon, ” Santhosh Kumar, CEO – operations & international director, JLL India. Santosh lists Gurgaon, Noida, Jaipur, Neemrana and Lucknow as best cities to invest in North India as he believes most of these cities are witnessing good development, investment in infrastructure, and have a good existing or developing economic base which is or will attract more people, thus driving the need for real estate. Jaipur and Lucknow are capital cities and enjoy good investments into infrastructure by the state governments, while also enjoying good connectivity and have seen healthy investor participation, albeit largely in the residential sector. Infrastructure makes a city worth investing and also drives the real estate growth. Vikas Malpani, co-founder, Commonfloor finds Bhiwadi, Jaipur, Ghaziabad, Delhi (L-zone) and Faridabad as good investment picks in North India as infrastructure is one of the major factors that is driving real estate growth in most of the mentioned cities. Malpani adds Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) passes through various existing industrial clusters and towns and cities that are likely to become investment hubs. Bhiwadi, Ghaziabad and Jaipur are seeing the impact of this corridor. Moreover, all the identified cities are also witnessing the impact of the industrial development in and around the regions. Additionally, property prices in these cities are relatively affordable. He identifies prime factors that make Bhiwadi and Jaipur worth considering for investment. “Bhiwadi, an emerging industrial and real estate hub adjoining Gurgaon is well connected with highways such as NH-8 and NH-71B. The proposed Neemrana airport in the vicinity is expected to give a boost to the realty sector. Moreover, it falls along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, which makes it a promising destination for property investment. Unparalleled connectivity and round-the-clock infrastructure development are two parameters of growth in the Jaipur. The advent of the metro and the ‘Smart City’ label has added to its advantage.” The proposed Metro connectivity with other parts of NCR and two industrial zones in and around the area are expected to give a major push to the realty sector in Ghaziabad in the coming months. L-Zone in Delhi is situated in a strategic location in the south west of Delhi with close proximity to Dwarka, Gurgaon and IGI Airport. Low land prices and DDA’s Land Pooling policy are expected to be the major growth drivers of this region. Realistic property values, good connectivity coupled with upcoming infra upgrades, has put Faridabad as the next hotspot in NCR. It enjoys connectivity to other cities such as Mathura, Palwal and Agra via NH-2. All these cities offer several real estate options to invest in. What is needed is a well-timed and properly researched real estate investment for good returns and avoid a bad decision. Thus, it is crucial for buyers to check past record of developer, get the property papers verified by a legal expert and compare prices with other builders’s properties to make an informed and sound decision. http://www.financialexpress.com/article/economy/why-these-9-north-indian-cities-are-good-investment-bets/165520/
Govt transfers land in 95 villages to revenue dept
New Delhi: The AAP-led Delhi government has transferred gram sabha land in 95 rural villages to its revenue department. The decision was taken to protect government land in these areas. These villages have to be declared as urbanized and transferred to Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for the implementation of land pooling policy in the near future. Sources say the decision to transfer the land to the revenue department will help the Delhi government keep this land for infrastructure projects even after the villages have been handed over to DDA. In an October 29 notification, the Delhi government ordered for the transfer of thousands of hectares of land from the Panchayat department to the revenue department. "Under the panchayat department, the gram sabha land has to be handed over to DDA once the villages are declared as development area. For infrastructure projects, Delhi government would have to buy the same land from DDA," said a senior government official. This has been one of the biggest worries of the Delhi government after the Union urban development ministry notified the scheme for land pooling in 2013. The guidelines for its implementation was notified recently. DDA has been pushing that 95 rural villages be declared as development area so that it can roll out the scheme for land pooling to meet the growing requirement for housing in the city. But the Delhi government is apprehensive about the policy. Sources say, CM Arvind Kejriwal is thinking of consulting urban development experts before giving a go ahead to declare the villages as development areas. "We need to carefully study the policy to ensure that farmers interest is taken care of," said an official. Under the policy, those who give two to 20 hectare of land will get 48% of the total land back while those who give 20 hectare and above will get 60% land back for development of residential, commercial and public and semi-public facilities. The location of the land will be decided through a computerized process, but preference will be given to those who apply first. The land owning authority will collect external development charges (Rs 2 crore per acre) from the farmers or developer entity who avail the policy for development of civic infrastructure. Once implemented, DDA officials say that it will help in the development of 24-25 lakh housing units in the years to come without getting stuck in the land acquisition process.
Getting Closer to Owning House in Delhi
NEW DELHI: If you are planning to buy accommodation in Delhi or want to invest in property now is the right time. In consonance with the central governments vision to develop Delhi on the lines of world-class cities, the Ministry of Urban Development is taking some proactive steps in this direction. The ministry recently appointed KPMG as the consulting partner for developing world-class accommodation by 2022. KPMG will prepare the action plan for New Delhi Municipal corporation. It has also organised a publication consultation programme to shape up the ideas for Delhi smart city zones L N K and P. With over a million square feet of unused land, emergence of new areas such as L zone P zone and N zone in Delhi would provide much needed push to the supply of affordable housing. The projects come under the land pooling policy which has already been notified. With this affordable housing policy, buyers can get a home in Delhi at the same price as in NCR towns like Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad. I am planning to invest in real estate sector and looking for such options but I do not want to shift to Noida or Gurgaon because my family and relatives live here, said Roopali Pasricha 29. who lives in Navada near Dwarka. I heard about the upcoming development project and I am very much excited to own a smart home in Delhi which also suits my pocket said Pasricha who is a marketing professional. There are number of developers and group housing societies which have launched projects under the land pooling policy and offer very lucrative schemes to the customers. Vijay Verma, a 52-year-old government employee said, "I have six-seven years left for retirement and the best investment option is obviously the real estate. If I invest in a property in Delhi the returns would be high. I am open for it.
DDA proposes using vacant lands adjoining motels for parking
DDA today proposed using vacant lands adjoining motels for parking or maintaining green cover on purely temporary basis, without raising any construction on such plot and claiming any FAR (floor area ratio). The proposal was made during the DDA meeting at the Raj Niwas here today. Vacant lands under the ownership of motel owner and original or sanctioned plot may be utilised for parking or maintaining green on purely temporary basis without raising any construction on such a plot and without claiming any FAR and amalgamation with original plot subject to regulatory measures by Delhi Government and local bodies the DDA said. The proposal was approved by the Authority for issuance of public notice for inviting objections and suggestions from public. During the meet a proposal was also made for modification to the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 for the provision of specific percentage of area under waiting reception in the hospital buildings to facilitate building sections of concerned local bodies to process the building plans of hospital. Modifications in MPD 2021 was also proposed with reference to provisions for Treatment Storage & Disposal Facility (TSDF) for hazardous waste in Delhi. Issue of forfeiture of 12,858.81 sqm of land of Commonwealth Games Village and club or community centres were also taken up. To forfeit the residential towers nos 26 and 28 (of the CWG village) having built up area of 11,982.14 sqm being the excess construction beyond 5 per cent compounding limit and to place the same at the disposal of the Union Ministry of Urban Development for appropriate utilisation was approved in the meeting, the housing authority said. The Authority was apprised that the Chief Engineer nominated by it shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Biodiversity Division, and was approved in the meeting. All ministerial staff accountant staff and engineering staff will be posted in the Delhi Biodiversity Foundation out of DDA staff engaged in the planning designing development and management of existing biodiversity parks shall be considered for regularisation in accordance with law and DoPT norms it said Biodiversity Foundation Regulations were proposed to be amended to provide ministerial accountants and engineering staff in the Delhi Biodiversity Foundation out of DDA staff and to appoint the scientific technical and supporting staff including landscape staff on a regular basis for the planning designing development and management of biodiversity Parks and supporting staff. DDA has developed two biodiversity parks i.e. Yamuna Biodiversity Park and Aravali Biodiversity Park and has also taken up nodal task of development of a chain of biodiversity parks in Delhi.
LG returns file on circle rate
The power tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung took a fresh turn on Thursday with the latter returning a file on circle rates of agricultural land to the cabinet, saying that the notification in this regard has ‘inherent inconsistencies’ and asked the government to submit a fresh notification. “The notification’s prima facie is bad in law since it pertains to a land which is a reserved subject coming under the domain of the central government,” an official release from the LG office said. “The rates have been fixed for land that would come under the Land Pooling Policy.” Saying that the Land Pooling Policy has not yet become operational, LG office said, “The villages that will be covered under the policy have not yet been declared ‘urban’ by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) and it could be incorrect to fix the rates on such land till the policy becomes operational.” Citing from the past, the release said, “Notification does not fix the minimum price for the land situated within the river bed. This has always been done in the past.” However, the LG recognizes and appreciates the importance of the proposal on circle rates that would not just add revenue to the GNCTD but would benefit farmers. Jung urged the Delhi government to submit a fresh notification while carrying out the corrections properly. Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/news/delhi/lg-returns-file-on-circle-rate/82351.html#uK6CLd54UKtfHGrw.99
10,000 property buyers face an uncertain future and ` 30,000 crore remains locked up because of Delhi govt’s inability to take a stand on the land pooling policy
The Aam Admi Party (AAP) has an important question to answer. Why, when it is trying to fast track the regularisation of about 1,200 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, is the party refusing to take a clear stand on the land pooling policy (LPP) which has the potential to create 25 lakh to 30 lakh housing units with modern facilities in Delhi? The sad truth is that thousands of buyers are also in the danger of losing their money as unscrupulous parties are selling them land and properties as part of LPP. According to a rough estimate drawn up after discussions with several stakeholders in Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) LPP, HT Estates has reason to believe that various corporate houses, developers and individual buyers have in all probability spent ` 30,000 crore on buying land from farmers in the past few years. This huge corpus remains locked up due to lack of clarity on the part of the Delhi government causing severe financial inconvenience to the parties concerned. Another matter that has come to light is that when the mandatory provisions of the LPP have not been completed, builders or brokers can in no way advertise projects related to it. Under the LPP, land parcels owned by individuals or groups are legally consolidated by transfer of ownership rights to the designated land pooling agency. The agency then transfers ownership of part of the land back to the landowners for developing such areas. Some developers and land owning groups, it is learnt, have also been luring homebuyers to invest in apartments in land pooling zones. When the mandatory provisions of the LPP have not been completed, builders and brokers can in no way launch an d a dve rt i s e projects related to it. Till now, according to another estimate, more than 10,000 homebuyers have already paid the booking amount, ranging between ` 10 lakh and ` 20 lakh, for apartments in agricultural areas the land use of which has yet to be changed to residential. Experts say that land in seven LLP zones –L, J, K1, K2, P1, P2, N – measures 75,000 acres, out of which, if a conservative view is taken, 25% to 30% (18,000 to 22,000 acres) land has already been bought by several corporate houses, developers and individual buyers from farmers. If land cost is roughly calculated at ` 1.5 crore per acre, the money to purchase land comes to around ` 27,000 to ` 35,000 crore. “The land pooling policy files have been lying with the Delhi government for more than six months but no decision has been taken on the matter. This is the file which contains Delhi’s future development plan, with costs estimated at more than ` 1 lakh crore for housing for more than 20 lakh families in highly regularised modern group housing colonies,” says Sudhir Dabas from Saffron-Land Realty Ventures Private Limited, a company which provides consultancy on land pooling. It is “unfortunate,” Dabas says, that while the economy is “begging for more inflow of investment in key sectors, about ` 30,000 crore of investor money is held up in land pooling schemes. The funds could have otherwise generated a huge inflow of foreign and indigenous investment in the otherwise morbid real estate sector. The Delhi government must clear files or give reasons for its laxity.” Questioning the “indordinate delay” by the Delhi government, Ramesh Menon, director, Certes Realty, says non-implementation of the operationalisation mechanism of land pooling has given the “opportunity to a few unscrupulous elements to market apartments, which have no legal sanction whatsoever. The law which regulates raising of money from public entities, does not allow multi-state cooperative housing societies and welfare societies to collect money from the public for the purpose of real estate activities.” Many experts say that most selling agencies haven’t undertaken any due-diligence on these projects, and are myopically marketing these projects overseas, too, for selfish gains. These brokerage firms have endangered the hard earned money of unsuspecting consumers, who are most likely to lose not just the interest on their investment, but also the capital in many cases. “Many developers are advertising even facilities, amenities and design of apartment projects even though the mandatory provisions of the LPP are yet to be completed. Most seasoned investors have stayed away so the buyers at the bottom of the pyramid are being targeted,” says Menon. When the urban development ministry gave its nod to operational guidelines for LPP in May last year, lot of people thought the LLP would very soon become a reality. The next step would have entailed the conversion of 95 rural villages to urban villages under Section 507 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act (DMCA) 1957.
LG Delhi govt tussle hits investors
Land buyers are caught in the tugofwar between the Delhi government and the lieutenant governor over circle rates of agriculture land Dozens of investors who bought agriculture land four to five months ago from farmers in the land pooling zones of north, northwest and southwest Delhi have been unable to get the titles of their land because the sub¬registrars concerned have impounded sale deeds in which the land rate declared is less than the rate fixed by the Delhi government on August 4, 2015. Ramesh Singh (name changed) had bought seven acres in Delhi’s northwest zone where the circle rate was ` 3 crore per acre at the actual market rate of ` 1.5 crore per acre. “I got the land registered at ` 1.5 crore but the sub¬registrar impounded my documents after registration and sent them to the collector of stamps or the sub divisional magistrate (SDM) of that area. A number of months have gone by, but he has yet to clear the documents,” says Singh. According to revenue department sources, the collector of stamps, who is the designated authority to clear these impounded documents, has been unable to deal with the papers because of differences between the Delhi government and the lieutenant governor (LG) on fixing land rates of agricultural land in the land pooling zones of Delhi. The notification related to hike in circle rates of agricultural land is under judicial scrutiny in the Delhi High Court. “Re cent lyonee of of the the subregistrar sf rom the he northwest northwest district of Delhii sentsent 40 sale deeds of agriculture land to the collector of stamp for fixing the right value of the property,” says source in the revenue department on conditions of anonymity. In the norm all course of things, whenever a buyer undervalues property, the sub¬registrar impounds the title deed after registering it at the value quoted by the buyer and sends it under Section 47A of the Indian Stamp Act to the collector of stamps. The collector then has to determine the correct value within 30 days and work out the differential sum. The sub¬registrar then charges the buyer the remaining sum to complete the registration process. 20 Feb 2016 Hindustan Times (Delhi) Jeevan Prakash Sharma email@example.com ISTOCK 20/02/2016 Hindustan Times e¬Paper ¬ Hindustan Times (Delhi) ¬ 20 Feb 2016 ¬ LG¬Delhi govt tussle hits investors http://paper.hindustantimes.com/epaper/viewer.aspx 2/2 Things went wrong on August 4, 2015, when the revenue department of the Delhi government issued a notification raising the circle rate of agriculture land of Delhi from ` 53 lakh per acre all across Delhi to ` 1 crore¬to ` 3.5 crore per acre depending on the different market rates in different areas of the Captital. Just a week after that, on August 10, 2015 LG Najeeb Jung stayed this notification for further examination. During the Delhi government¬LG standoff Congress leader Naresh Kumar filed a public interest litigation demanding interim stay on the notification issued by the Delhi government. Refusing the stay, the Delhi high court agreed to hear the matter. Now, even though the matter is pending with the high court, sub¬registrars, especially those in the land pooling zones, are registering land at rates over and above ` 53 lakh per acre. “Purchasers who are paying stamp duty at the rate fixed by the Delhi government in its August 4, 2015, notification, are getting their sale deeds registered without problems. However, those wanting to pay according to old rate of ` 53 lakh per acre find that the subregistrar, after registering the sale¬deed, is confiscating the document and sending it to the collector of stamps, or SDM. The SDM does not clear the file because he is waiting for the final judgment in the Delhi High Court. So despite paying for the land, buyers are kept waiting for the title for several months. They are very worried about the standoff continuing for a long time,” says a source at the Kapashera sub¬registrar’ office. Senior officials in the revenue department admit to lack of clarity on the stamp duty charged from land buyers. “What if tomorrow the Delhi High Court sets aside the August 4, 2015, notification of the Delhi government? Then the government can be accused of overcharging land buyers. And in case the court upholds it, then the revenue officer will have to follow the cumbersome process of issuing a notice and recovering the remaining stamp duty,” informs another revenue official. Why are circle rates higher in land pooling zones? Some property brokers say that the hike in circle rate is highly unrealistic in certain areas because over a period of time the land rates have fallen due to lack of clarity on the land pooling policy (LPP). They also ask that when the government was not taking any final decision on LPP, why had it fixed two different rates for agricultural land for two areas – non LPP and LPP? According to the government notification of August 4, 2015, in northwest Delhi, the circle rate of agriculture land in non LPP zone is R1.25 crore per acre while in LPP zone it is R3 crore per acre. “It shows that Delhi government wants to kill the whole policy. The whole logic behind higher circle rate of LPP area was that the demand of higher circle rate of LPP area was that the demand of agriculture land would be high due to attractive LPP. Now on that presumption the Delhi gover nment has hiked the circle rate but put the whole policy in cold storage,” says Amit Jain, an investor in the L zone. Jain adds, “Not only that, in many areas the market price is much less than the circle rate. For instance, in north Delhi, along the GT Road, the market price of agriculture land varies between ` 2.5 crore to ` 3 crore per acre, which is pretty close to the circle rate of ` 3 crore per acre. However, once you go into the interior areas the prices are lower, going down to even ` 1.25 crore per acre. I find it very strange that I purchase land at the market price of ` 1.25 crore per acre but my stamp duty is calculated at ` 3 crore per acre.” Investors also allege that this unrealistic hike in circle rates has encouraged corruption in the revenue department. “Take the case of an investor purchasing land at the rate of ` 1.25 crore per acre. Even if he pays stamp duty on the basis of the prevailing circle rate, ie, ` 3 crore per acre, the sub-registrar can threaten to report the matter to the income tax department for undervaluation of property and extort money from him. Many investors are not aware that details of all sale-deeds are sent to the income tax department as routine practice,” alleges an investor who claims to have paid ` 50,000 to a sub-registrar for not reporting the matter to the income tax department. He adds, “Buyers are not aware of a lot of practices and rules of the revenue department which sub-registrars often take advantage of. For instance, if a purchaser is paying stamp duty according to the circle rate but the price of the property quoted by him is lower than the circle rate, the sub-registrar can’t confiscate the sale deed. Many subregistrars, in collusion with deed-writers, are threating buyers that they will confiscate the documents because the property is undervalued.”
Conflicting policies land DDA in mess
Two policies related to land, and each at cross purposes, especially in relation to commercial development, is giving the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) a tough time in their implementation. And until the inequalities in the two with regard to floor area ratio (FAR) are sorted, land development will continue to be an exercise fraught with anxiety. For the Transit Oriented Development policy, the approved FAR, or the ratio between total floor area of a building and the plot size on which it is built, is 400. However, for the land polling policy it is lesser at 250. While the first policy aims to encourage development of areas around mass rapid transport corridors, such as the Delhi Metro, the second aims at creating large areas for commercial development after acquiring smaller plots from individual or group owners. If FAR is not the same under the policies, where is the incentive for people to invest in land pooling? asked Vijender Gupta, BJP MLA from Rohini and member of the DDA. Those who own land near the MRTS corridors will get the benefit of FAR of 400, but those who own land near the corridors that dont fall under the policy will suffer. The commercial component should be the same in both the policies. DDA has taken up the matter with the Union urban development ministry as a large number of members at a recent meeting held to discuss the issue were of the view that FAR for land pooling should be revised. However, urban planners argue that equal FAR for both the categories will adversely affect constructions around MRTS corridors. A higher FAR ensures effective use of land for commercial use in these areas. The idea is to first develop areas around MRTS corridors, so that transportation services become available, said a senior official. DDA has started work on two projects in east Delhi and one in Dwarka based on the notified TOD policy. Any change in the policy now, sources say, will impact these projects. The main issue is regarding implementation of the two policies in undeveloped areas. The matter will be studied carefully before a final decision is taken,said a senior DDA official. Meanwhile, the land-owning agency has been unable to begin work on implementing the land pooling policy because the AAP government is yet to notify 95 villages as development area from which pooled land would be released for commercial development.