‘Why did Haryana govt divert development fund for New Gurgaon?’

  • Abhishek Behl, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2016 13:00 IST
Homebuyers in New Gurgaon sectors are questioning Huda’s decision to not acquire the land needed for developing much-needed parks, green belts and a multi-purpose stadium in the area. (HT Photo)

Homebuyers in New Gurgaon sectors are questioning Huda’s decision of not acquiring land needed for developing much-needed parks, green belts and a multi-purpose stadium in the area. They are demanding an inquiry to find out why the money collected as external development charge was allowed to be spent across the state and not in Gurgaon.

The homebuyers recall the “promises” of green areas, wide roads and world-class infrastructure made to them at the time of selling flats.

Seven years after the development of New Gurgaon and investment of millions of rupees, homebuyers say they are still living with agriculture fields around.

On Wednesday, Huda confirmed that it has dropped a plan to acquire 1,290 acres in sectors 76 to 115 due to shortage of funds. Although the authority plans to use land pooling and collaborate with land owners to acquire plots , the homebuyers are not convinced.

Read more: High cost of land acquisition slows down new Huda projects in Gurgaon

Sectors from 58 to 115 in Gurgaon are being developed by private builders. Huda will develop the master infrastructure from the money collected from the buyers.

“I am planning to write to the chief minister and other authorities, seeking an inquiry as to why funds meant for Gurgaon were allowed to be spent in other areas. Now, Huda does not have funds to develop park and green belts. This is a setback for the homebuyers,” said 82-year old Vedpal Bakshi, who has bought two properties along the Dwarka Expressway.

The buyers also want the government to get strict with the developers who have taken EDC from the buyers but not submitted the money to the authorities.

But what has enraged the homebuyers is the diversion of funds by government agencies to other areas, leaving Huda cash-strapped.

If the government took the money collected by Huda, the urban authority should get it back so that the money can be used for the purpose it was collected.

“If the government is asking developers to create escrow account for every project, why is the public money being misspent,” asked Romi Sikand, another buyer.

Read more: Cash crunch: HUDA drops plan to acquire 1,290 acre for open spaces in Gurgaon

Priti Nath, another apartment buyer, said the government should ask developers to pay the pending EDC at the earliest, and ensure that the money is used to develop infrastructure in New Gurgaon.

“We paid such a high price to buy homes in a cleaner and greener part of the city. But neither the house nor the infrastructure has been delivered,” said Nath.

Mridul Babbar, also a homebuyer, tweeted, “Please help getting us our rights. 90,000 buyers paid EDC, IDC.”

Huda officials, however, insisted that the government will opt for land pooling and other ways to develop open spaces.

“The funds required to buy 1,290 acre is huge and the authority does not have the resources right now. But there are other ways to collaborate with owners”, said Kulbir Singh Dhaka, Land acquisition officer, HUDA.

Haryana’s additional chief secretary P Raghavendra Rao, who was in Gurgaon on Monday, said a large scale exercise is being carried out to monetise the assets of the authority.

“We have identified properties that will be auctioned soon to generate resources,” he told HT.

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