Chandigarh, July 22: To make the Land Pooling Policy more attractive for those giving up their property voluntarily for development projects, the Punjab Government has decided to give additional land as compensation to such persons, while coming out with a similar new policy for the industrial sector.

The Punjab Cabinet led by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday approved amendment to the Land Pooling Policy in respect of Residential Sector, and its extension to the Industrial Sector in the jurisdiction of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

The move comes as GMADA gets ready to acquire 1680 acres of land in the first phase for the development of the Aerotropolis estate. The policy change will also facilitate development of industrial estate in Sectors 101 and 103 in SAS Nagar (Mohali) by easing the process of acquisition of land for timely execution of development projects.

Under the amended Land Pooling Policy of GMADA, 1000 Sq. yards of developed residential plots and 200 Sq. yards of commercial plot, excluding parking, will be given in lieu of cash compensation for every 1 acre of land to be acquired from land owners for the upcoming Aerotropolis Residential Estate.

Introduced for industrial sector development for the first time, the Land Pooling Policy will, in this case, provide that for every 1 acre of land, land owners will get 1100 Sq. yards of industrial plots and 200 Sq. yards of developed commercial plot, excluding parking, in lieu of cash compensation.

Further, as per the new policy, the validity of the ‘Sahuliyat Certificate’, given to the land owners opting for land pooling policy and providing certain benefits to them during purchase of equivalent value of land, would be counted from the date of allotment of plot to the land owner. The earlier validity was 2 years from the date of announcement of award. The certificate entitles a land owner to get exemption from Stamp Duty, besides certain other benefits/privileges when he purchases agricultural land with the sale proceeds from the developed plots that he gets under land pooling.

The move is in response to the demand of land owners that the validity be applied from the date they are offered physical possession of the plots on the ground that only when basic infrastructure has been laid does a plot fetch its potential value.

GMADA has acquired 4484 acres of land from 2001 to 2017. Of this, 2145 acres has been acquired, till date, through the land pooling policy which was introduced in the State in the year 2008 and amended from time to time.

The rationale behind introducing the land pooling policy was to ensure prompt land acquisition and reduce financial burden on GMADA, as the acquisition of land through cash compensation mode is fraught with the risk of enhancement of compensation by the courts apart from being a cumbersome and time consuming process. GMADA is currently already facing the risk of paying enhanced compensation of nearly Rs. 9700 crore as per the decisions of the first reference appeal in the courts.

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