Residents of various colonies under the Haryana Urban development Authority (Huda) have decided to pay only part of the land enhancement charges levied on them by the civic agency.
Huda had, last week, slapped notices on the house and plot owners of sectors 27, 28, 42, 43 and 57, asking them to pay the enhancement charges at the rate ranging from R4,678 per sqyd to R6,282 per sq yard for the properties allotted to them about a decade ago.
The notices were sent after the Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the civic body to pay additional compensation to the farmers whose land were acquired for developing these colonies.
On Sunday, the residents of these colonies held a meeting and decided to pay the charges only at the rate of R1,500 per square yard.
“We would pay the partial enhancement at the rate of R1,500 per sqyd only instead of R6,282 as demanded by Huda,” said Yogender Bhati, a resident of Sector 27. According to the Huda’s notice, each house owner would have to pay roughly R14 to R20 lakh, depending on the size of their plots.
Residents said the enhancement rates would adversely affect senior citizens and retired officials who have invested their life's savings to buy plots at a cost of R4,500 to R5,500 per square yard.
“We do not know how the Huda has calculated the enhancement rate of R6,282 per sqyd. We cannot pay such a huge amount,” said Hardaman Sandhu, who approached the Punjab and Haryana high court against the Huda’s move.
According to Huda, the high court has asked it to pay the compensation to farmers as per the current market rate and it will recover the money from the allottees. “How would the Huda pay hiked compensation to the farmers? This enhanced money has to be recovered from the plot owners whom Huda sold the plots at cheaper rate,” said a senior Huda official.
According to the notice, owners have been directed to make the payment in the bank account of the Estate Officer (EO-II), Huda, by December 31, 2012.
What enhancement notice means
Farmers whose land had been acquired by the Haryana government at the then prevailing compensation rates, to be later transferred to the Huda for development, had moved court seeking more compensation. When the decision is in the farmers' favour, extra compensation is paid by the development authority in the name of enhancement charges.
The authority, however, shifted the burden on house and plot owners who are legally bound to pay up hiked rates as per a condition in the buyer-seller agreement.