Vijayawada Municipal Corporation in Andhra Pradesh, a metropolitan city covered under the Basic Services to the Urban Poor component of JnNURM has adopted an innovative mechanism of public-private partnership to assemble land for inclusive city expansion. It has assembled 226.54 acres of land in Gollapudi and Jakkampudi villages adjoining the city and located on the new ring road. This was done without resorting to the traditional land acquisition process. Under this model, through a series of meetings between the District and Municipal Administration authorities – Collector and District Magistrate, Krishna District and Municipal Commissioner, Vijayawada and land-owning farmers from the villages was persuaded to join hands with the State Government for providing 40 percent of their land for housing the poor and low-income segments. The State Government contributed Rs.25 crores for land development.
The farmers in Gollapudi and Jakkampudi villages were given back 60 per cent of land with plotted development, equipped with required infrastructure facilities like approach road, international road, land levelling, water and other infrastructure connectivity at government cost, free land use conversion and layout approval by the planning and municipal authorities. Under the conventional land acquisition, the farmers would have received compensation at Rs. 58.4 lakh per acre. In the PPP model, the farmers received a fully developed 1800 square yards plot per acre of land. The value of developed land, worked out by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, ranges between Rs. 5,000 to Rs.10,000 per square yard. Thus, the farmers got Rs. 90 lakh to Rs. 180 lakh per acre in the model of 60:40 land-sharing as against Rs.58.4 lakh per acre in conventional land acquisition. The farmers also saved money on land use conversion, registration and layout development charges.
Under conventional land acquisition, the Government authorities would have spent Rs 5292 lakh to compensate the farmers. However, the amount spent for infrastructure development on the farmers’ share of land (60%) is only about Rs 4600 lakh. This indicates a saving of Rs. 692 lakh in land assembly under the model of 60:40 land sharing for the Government.
Vijayawada: Inclusive Development under JnNURM (BSUP)
A key reform under JnNURM is “earmarking at least 20-25% of developed land in all housing projects (both public and private Agencies) for EWS/LIG category with a system of cross-subsidization”. While states and cities are struggling to achieve this reform, Vijayawada greatly succeeded in the implementation of this reform demonstrating that the gainers from the urban planning process could be persuaded to contribute to the provision of land for affordable housing to the urban poor through a win-win strategy for all.
The Vijayawada land sharing model for urban development exhibits a win-win strategy for both landowners and government. It is an example of using urban planning as a resource for inclusive city development and including the poor in the urban expansion process. Master Plans in the past did not reserve space for the poor for housing and working. If the new expansion of cities also do not include the poor, the goals of inclusive cities and inclusive growth will not `be attained. The new ring road and other connectivity to the city such as flyover as part of the planning process of Vijayawada increased the land values for the famers. By agreeing to part with 40% land for housing the urban poor under BSUP, the farmers got land use conversion and plotted development with the cost of infrastructure met by the government agencies. The city was able to set the best example of inclusive development in the country.