Noida Authority's decision to regularise property and settle claims of those whose land was acquired before 1997 will not only address farmers' issue pending for several years, but also bring respite to several developed sectors.
Termed ‘encroached' by the administration, these pockets were an eyesore on the city's landscape as well as a perennial source of waterlogging, crime, power theft, drinking water crisis and an overburdened drainage system in upscale localities.
"We have for long been facing waterlogging, power cuts and petty crimes. That's mainly because the Atta area has by and large been left non-regularised. There has been absolutely no monitoring," Kavita Mehra, a resident of Sector 18, said. Those living in Sector 2 echoed similar sentiments.
"The Naya Baans area has witnessed erratic and illegal growth. Such areas have been eating into the city's infrastructure. Good, the old claims are being settled and these areas will be brought under the authority's monitoring," Kailash Tiwari said.
Similarly, Harola has been an issue for residents of Sector 6 and Chauda Raghunathpur does not gel with Sector 55.
"Making all city areas is a welcome move," Rajkumar, who blames a recent theft on a village area nearby, said.
There are other issues too.
"Once the process of development starts, several other issues will be taken care of. For instance, in the event of a blaze, fire tenders find it extremely difficult to move in narrow lanes," an official said.
There was no problem in areas where land acquisition took place after 1997 as satellite images obtained from the National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad helped address the claims.
Farmers were allowed to retain constructed structures verified by satellite images and were given 5 per cent of the acquired land in a developed sector.
This is something people, whose land was acquired before 1997, have so far failed to benefit from.
They were promised that as and when residential schemes come up, they will be given concessions.
Now with change in the Rural Abadi Site Regulations, these people, apart from retaining their constructed structures, will be given 5 five per cent of their land at the site itself. The development authority will regularise the remaining property by providing plots in developed sectors through lottery after payment of development charges.
If some are engaged in commercial activities, it will be settled there to some extent too.
Construction of schools, approved under certain guidelines, will be given exemption.
The revenue generated will be used for the overall development of the city.
Sources said that satellite imaging was needed as most of the acquisition was done only on paper without much physical verification ever since Noida Authority came into being in the mid-1970s.
The Rural Abadi Site Regulations (management and regularisation for residential purpose) were formed in 2006 and amended in 2009.
The Noida Authority has decided to earmark a sum of R180 crore for the development of villages and within-the-city "eyesores".
The authority has made changes to its Rural Abadi Site (management and regularisation for residential purpose) Regulations for settlement and regularisation of these areas. These are the areas from where the land was acquired for development of residential and industrial pockets before 1997 and their satellite images available proved too vague for settlement of claims. Satellite images are available for the acquisition, which took place after 1997. So, post-1997 claims had already been settled.
The issue of settlement has been pending for the last three decades. After execution, the decision will help settle more than 4,000 litigations. The authority has decided to regularise such properties through some partial on-the-site settlement and also by way of providing plots in developed sectors.
Noida deputy CEO N. P Singh told HT: "The idea is to develop villages, besides unplanned and erratic pockets on the lines of sectors. Earlier, we could not do it because there were no provisions allowing us to carry out development activity in encroached areas."
Though farmers' reaction to the decision is not entirely positive, but a majority of them are of the few that "it's better less than nothing."