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Uncertainty looms, more cases pile up

The Allahabad High Court’s judgment quashing the allotment of farmers’ land to builders in Patwari village in Greater Noida may seal the fate of Noida Extension.

delhi Updated: Jul 20, 2011 00:11 IST
Darpan Singh

The Allahabad High Court’s judgment quashing the allotment of farmers’ land to builders in Patwari village in Greater Noida may seal the fate of Noida Extension.

Billed as a mega housing hub, the area is witnessing construction of 2.5 lakh residential units by 25 builders over 2,000 acres of land. One lakh flats have already been booked.

Tuesday’s court verdict, however, has put all in jeopardy.

When the Supreme Court quashed the acquisition of 156 hectares of land in Shahberi early this month, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), builders and buyers thought the “court might not be equally harsh” in case of other villages.

“I am afraid all land acquired in Noida Extension villages would be returned to farmers, leaving tens of thousands of home buyers in the lurch,” said a former official of GNIDA.

The Patwari verdict has jeopardised the fate of about 50,000 flats being built in the price range of R10-35 lakh.

“Ever since GNIDA was formed in 1991, all land has been acquired using the urgency clause of the Land Acquisition Act, now held illegal by the court,” said a senior official.

On Wednesday, the high court will hear petitions of farmers of Rauja-Yakubpur villages.

Farmers from Bisrakh, where more than a dozen builders have planned about 50,000 flats, have also moved court. The court would soon hear petitions from farmers of Bisrakh, Haibatpur and Itaidha. Of the 500 affected families in Bisrakh, half had accepted compensation.

Most say they were forced to accept it and are ready to pay it back. The crisis is not limited to houses. Half the land acquired had been used or set aside for creation of public facilities such as roads, parks and a drainage system. Officials fear the entire master plan for Noida Extension will now come under a cloud.