With an intention to make future satellite towns as integrated growth centres, the Tamil Nadu government is planning to explore land pooling scheme, which involves property owners as stakeholders instead of outright acquisition. Land pooling method is favoured as it facilitates returning a portion of the developed properties in new satellite towns to the stakeholders.
The state government has planned model towns 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.
As per the proposed land pooling policy which has not yet been notified, 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 may be noted that in Delhi which had announced land pooling policy there is a provision to return 60% of the pooled land to the owners.
Land pooling is favoured over outright land acquisition as the latter entails payment of 2.5 times the market value of the land as compensation. Further, in the past, several land parcels acquired for satellite town and housing plot projects are mired in litigation though they were acquired decades ago.
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.