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1 Land Pooling: Tool for Urban Land Management

Land Pooling often known as land readjustment has been a popular technique in urban land
management. Land Pooling is an urban land planning practice in which a group of landowners
unite together to carry out a collective planning of their land. They prepare a subdivision layout
plan, install services and redistribute developed plots proportionately amongst themselves; they
also finance the project works by selling some of their sales plots (or reserve plots) set aside for
projects cost recovery (Archer, 1994). But this is not exactly what happens in Nepal, where only
government agencies are authorized to initiate Land Pooling Project after appraisal from local
Because of its inherent potential to solve some of the problems of conventional planning, land
pooling has gained popularity in Nepal including many Asian cities. This approach does not
apply eminent domain for acquiring land. The land is planned and serviced plots are returned to
the respective (original) landowners. Thus, there is no hue and cry of displacement of the
original landowners, no complaints about land acquisition delays and inadequate compensation.
Second, in an anticipation of future land value gains, landowners support the project. Third,
landowners are empowered through their strong representation in the land management
committee; a planning authoritys monopoly on the decision making process is minimized.
Finally, project implementation need not depend upon the availability of government budget, as
it is self-financed by landowners (through their reserve plot sales), except in case of budget
deficiency, loan shall be provided. This also relieves public funding for infrastructure.
Furthermore, the government benefits from the increased property tax base which shall increase
government revenue.
1.1 Features of Land Pooling
i) Voluntary Process
Upon mutual consent of 51% of land owners (Previously 75%), project is taken to
Town Development Committee (in case of Kathmandu, KVDA) and TDC take the
proposal to respected ministry. With approval from council of Ministry, the project is
appraised. Upon refusal of land owners, land pooling shall not imply.
ii) Public Participation
iii) Indirect Compulsion
This is tricky feature of Land Pooling. Under TDA-1988, there has to be 75% public
consent for land pooling but recently reduced to 51%. If, in any project only 51%
public agreed to initiate land pooling, remaining 49% of tenant are forced to
participate in the process.
iv) Provision of Open/ Social Space
v) Self-Financing
vi) Self-Contained
No forceful displacement of land owners. This gives right to property to owner apt to
stay in their own land but reduced size.
vii) Effective Land Use
viii) Provision of Infrastructures

1.2 Process of Land Pooling (Implementation Process)
Land Pooling process has been defined by Town Development Plan Implementation Committee
and it carry out feasibility studies and select the LR sites. The site selection is followed by a
formation of a landowners committee. The planning scheme and land contribution ratios are widely
discussed in the committee. Once the committee is happy, scheme is sent for government approval
and, a full-fledged project office is formed after the approval. The office imposes a moratorium on
the project site to avoid the advancement of any new physical development activities. Project finance
is procured and, parallely, a Land Management Subcommittee (LMSC) is formed. LMSC holds the
legal mandate to review the projects problems, approve the budget, and resolve the land related
When all these implementation arrangements are in place, a detailed design of the infrastructure
works is prepared and the project is implemented. Once infrastructure work is over, new land title
certificates are issued to the landowners. Projects reserve plots (some plots reserved to sell and
finance the project) are sold to pay back the development loan and, finally, the project is handed over
to the users committee.
Source: TDPIC, 2002
1.3 Problems in Land Pooling
Frequent changes of project personnel
Misinterpretation of Projects responsibility
Lack of project expertise/technologies
Difficulties in coordination with different line agencies
Conventional record keeping system and indifference in information sharing

Major problem in implementing LP projects is lack of budget. In counties like Nepal, where
municipality lacks professionalism, finance is major problem. To initiate initial project phase,
it requires seed money for which the project has to depend upon municipality. Another
problem is lack of financial plan due to which the project account is hazy and doubtful.
Variation of initial projected cost is yet added problem in LP works.
Problems associated with land administration
No indication of road on the cadastral map but existing in the site
Plots that are not yet registered but are in holding for generations
Variation of area in cadastral map and the field
Plots that are and will be below minimum permissible area
Plots not having name of landowner in the registration document
Existing houses
Location changes of the re adjusted plots
Social & Adaption
It has been seen that most of the land owner in Land Pooling site sell their plots soon after
completion of the project. The social status of people living in those sites are presumes
higher and such projects have been seen exclusive in nature. Owner having less land are
either to buy additional land in new-set price or to leave area taking designated amount. In
case the owner refuse both the condition, there's no clear way out. He is forced to take money
and leave.
Land Speculation
Land broker penetrate to increase land price
Hike in land price makes land virtually a dream to low-income and even middle income
Provision of Legal Framework
Lack of Legal provision which clarify the issues involved. Here, we do not have separate act
of Land Pooling as in India (Land Pooling Policy Regulations-2014). India enforced land
Fig: Land Readjustment Program in the Bank of River Sumida, Japan
pooling rules only in 2014. TDA is only act which defines land pooling and definition of
section 12 is insufficient to tackle every problem encountered. As a result, projects of such
type, faces legal court cases. If this is inevitable tool, detail guideline has to be set to manage
the process efficiently and effectively. Different land pooling sites have different sub division
regulations and bye-laws, which is yet another ambiguity in planning process.

2 Contribution of Land Pooling in Urban Planning
It has
2.1 Land Readjustment in Japan
Japan used this technique as Land Readjustment projects extensively after world war I. Japan is
frequented with earthquake hit and more than 30% of its urban land were readjusted using this
technique. First land readjustment project was carried out in 1870's in Kobe where as it was
legislated only in 1919 and became first country to bring land readjustment tool into legal
framework. The city of Nagoya is claimed to be developed using this technique (Hayashi, 2002).
In fact it is clear that, Japan used the technique of Land Pooling to manage urban land. Japan
today uses this technique to adopt after earthquake disaster. 23% of average of Tokyo 23 wards
were developed by LR method which includes, Earthquake Reconstruction Projects, War
Damage Reconstruction Projects, and Sprawl Preservation Projects.

2.2 Land Readjustment in Thailand
Fig: Land Readjustment in Thailand
Fig: Land Management in Delhi Zone M
Thailand have also adopted technique of Land Pooling to manage its urban land. Like in Nepal,
Thailand have implemented this technique in small scaled sites. Few Land Pooling projects
conducted in Thailand to manage their urban land are stated here.
2.3 Land Readjustment in India
Many cities of India have adopted land pooling techniques to manage urban land. Basically,
South Asian cities are undergoing severe urbanization and creating urban chaos. This technique
have been very useful to manage urban land in Asian cities. Cities of Hyderabad, Madras,
Chennai, Delhi etc. are planned using Land Readjustment Techniques. Recently in 2014, Delhi
Development Authority (DDA) passed Rules to guide urban Land Pooling process in New Delhi.
The first Master plan of Delhi prepared in 1961 passed through several modification and today
they have master plan 2021 which divides Delhi from Zone- a to Zone- p, each zone having its
own sub-division. Recently proposed zone-m master plan was also prepared using land pooling
techniques. Each zone seems city in itself can such zones can be regarded as city within a city.
Each year about 45,000 house hold migrate in the city of Delhi, so there is huge demand of land
in Delhi. A study shows that housing deficit in Delhi is 2.4 Million units (Agrawal, 2008) and
annual conversion of land into housing plots is 6000 hectare.
Land Pooling techniques were applied
as early in 1915 in British India through
Bombay Town Planning Act in the city
of Bombay (Home, 2002). Since then,
formal town planning process was
adopted in Indian cities, including
Delhi. We have heard various land
related issues in Noida, where DDA
implemented Land Pooling Project and
readjusted whole Noida land. Some of
the zones in Delhi developed using Land
Pooling are shown herein,

Archer, R. W. (1994). Urban Land Consolidation for
Metropolitan Jakarta Expansion, 1990
2010 Habitat International, 18(4), 3752.
Hayashi Kiyotaka, 2002, Land Readjustment as a Crucial Tool for Urban Development, Lincoln
Institute of Land Policy, Conference Paper
Agrawal P, 2008, Presentation, Can You Afford to Miss The Opportunity? Called Master Plan
Delhi 2021, N/A.
Home Robert, 2002, Why Was Land Readjustment Adopted in British India but not in Britain? A
Historical Exploration, Conference Paper
Konursay, Sadk Ylmaz, 2004, Land Readjustment Process in Urban Design:Project
Management Approach, MUD Thesis, Department of City & Regional Planning, zmir Institute
of Technology.
Karki, Tej Kumar, N/A, Efficiency and Equity Issues of Land Readjustment Projects
Implemented in Nepal, North Eastern University, Boston

Land Use Area in
Residential 3234.5 58.55
Commercial 158.80 2.87
Public & Semi
Public Facilities
449.9 8.15
Industry(Light &
323.3 5.85
Utilities 87 1.57
Government Use 13 .24
Recreational 1050 15
Transportation 1025 14.64
Total 7000 100