Government to adopt land-pooling method for airport expansion
The Union Government is working on adopting land-pooling methodology as an alternative mechanism for development and expansion of airports.
This is being done to overcome challenges that come with unavailability of land due to surge in land compensation cost after Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (or Land Acquisition Act, 2013) came in to force.
If this proposal receives Government approval then states will probably have to adopt some of features of land-pooling in their respective state acts to give it legal teeth.
Need for Land pooling
Currently airports across country are facing high passenger traffic growth and will further grow in future. Most of current functional airports are located in congested parts of cities with no scope for growth and reach saturation point even after being expanded for lack of land availability. Land acquisition in fully constructed areas around airports is very difficult causing severe capacity constraint for expansion of infrastructure at various airports. So Government is looking at land-pooling method as alternative to land acquisition for developing airport infrastructure.
Under land pooling mechanism, group of land-owners pool their land and hand it over to government agency for development of infrastructure projects. After the development of land, the agency redistributes the land after deducting some portion as compensation towards infrastructure costs. Generally, people who part with their land parcels get 60-70% of their holdings back after infrastructure is developed on it. This is done to develop potential infrastructure to reduce the load on the existing congested and saturated areas. This method already has been used in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.