Land is a scarce but vital resource required for all large public infrastructural projects of national importance, which are critical for the economic development of the country. Till 2013, land for development purposes was acquired by states under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. This was replaced by the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, 2013, which introduced the concepts of consent, Resettlement & Rehabilitation (R&R), Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and assured adequate compensation. However, the procedural mandates laid under the new Act have been perceived by stakeholders as being cumbersome and time- consuming. Land pooling has emerged widely as a popular alternative to land acquisition for development purposes.
It has seen wide acceptance due to numerous advantages: benefit sharing between stakeholders, and offering a more flexible and financially viable alternative to land acquisition.
Based on several studies and consultations by researchers from the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), this policy brief explains when land pooling can be used as a tool for land assembly and development, and offers some essential prerequisites to frame a workable policy for land pooling.