Land use clause changed overnight | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Land use clause changed overnight

Back-to-back quashing of land acquisitions in Noida Extension by court has brought to light the nexus between the authority and builders. In most cases, land was acquired for industrial development, but auction was done for construction of residential towers.

delhi Updated: Jul 20, 2011 01:02 IST
Darpan Singh

Back-to-back quashing of land acquisitions in Noida Extension by court has brought to light the nexus between the authority and builders. In most cases, land was acquired for industrial development, but auction was done for construction of residential towers.

Farmers allege a builders' lobby got the land use changed in connivance with some authority officials. The authority used the urgency clause of the Land Acquisition Act to muffle voices — landowners' objections were never paid heed to.

"This clause is imposed only in case of projects meant for public good. Real estate is a highly profitable business. Construction of luxury flats on prime farmland is hardly public good. The courts have also said so," said farmer leader Roopesh Verma. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/200711/20_07_pg2c.jpg

Villagers say builders had an idea that land in Shahberi was disputed as they knew that only 10% farmers had taken compensation. Of the seven builders, only four had started work. “They deliberately went slow,” said Verma. The land was acquired from farmers at R850 per sqm and sold to builders at more than R10,000 per sqm.

“Using buyers' money, builders went on foreign tours, distributed luxury cars and high-end mobile phones among their employees. Completion of projects was their last priority,” said a buyer.

In Noida Extension, about 2,000 acres have been acquired from farmers and allotted to builders under a staggered payment scheme — repayment could be made in installments in the next 10 years.

“Builders paid only 10% of the total land cost. Technically, the builder can own the land after full payment but he promised delivery of flats in three-four years. This does not allow us to lend money," said a bank official. “Farmers were given R700 per sqm, middlemen of the state government took bribe of R3,000 per sqm from builders,” said Ved Pal Singh of Patwari.