Model towns have been planned on 800 acres of Agaramthen village near Tambaram in Chennai’s southern suburbs. The government plans to establish model satellite towns at Coimbatore, Trichy and Tirunelveli as well.
While Agaramthen could become the first project to be taken up under the land pooling scheme, the draft rules for the land pooling policy have not yet been notified though they were released last year.
Official sources say landowners who offer their land for the project will be made part of the project and they would get back a portion of their land as developed properties within the township. “It could be in a ratio of at least 50% of the land given by the landlords,” a housing and urban development department official said.
Also, outright acquisition of lands is no more a viable option as it entails payment of 2.5 times the market value of the land as compensation. Moreover, several land parcels acquired for satellite town and housing plot projects in the past, including the one at Thirumazhisai, are mired in litigation though they were acquired decades ago.
Real estate sector experts say the land pooling scheme operates on the concept of joint venture for housing projects.
Builders Association of India state secretary S Ramaprabhu said, “When a satellite town is developed by the government agencies, it will have a rippling effect in the neighbourhood, boosting the prospects of urban development.” The draft rules must be notified at the earliest, he added.
In 2018, the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, was amended to launch the land pooling scheme to acquire land for housing and other infrastructure projects. It was followed by draft rules for the scheme that aims at enhancing public participation was released in February 2020.