Even as liquor baron Ponty Chadha's realty arm Wave Mega City Center Pvt Ltd on Wednesday stopped digging at its mega commercial hub construction site, the Noida authority said it would form a committee to probe how the City Center project was allowed to take off without its layout and building map being approved.
The authority on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice and asked the firm to immediately stop digging at the project site spread in 162 hectares in sectors 32 and 25A of the city as dust was having an adverse impact on people's health.
The additional chief executive officer (ACEO) at the Noida authority, Pramanshu, said, "The project should not have taken off without approval. We will conduct a probe and fix responsibility. Action will be taken against officials concerned."
The firm on Wednesday informed the authority that water was being poured continuously on the dug-up earth to check presence of dust in the air. The mounds of extracted soil were also being covered to avoid inconvenience to people. The dug-up earth is being removed, the firm has said.
Ponty was supposedly close to BSP chief and former chief minister Mayawati. But after the Samajwadi Party formed government in UP, he has received back-to-back setbacks.
The government in April asked the firm to forgo Rs. 50 crore after a township plan was scrapped in Greater Noida. In the same month, the Greater Noida police lodged an FIR against him following a hooch tragedy.
Only a couple of days ago, three months after Income Tax raids at his business premises and residence, Ponty reported an 'undisclosed income' and paid Rs. 54 crore as tax to the I-T department. And now the City Center project is in trouble.
The authority on Tuesday said the firm had not got the project's layout and building map approved and asked it to stop digging.
The authority also asked the firm to furnish, in three days, details of the quantum of soil dug up, the area and depth taken up for digging, besides other relevant details.
The Noida authority in March last year, when BSP's Mayawati was chief minister, sold the City Center plot to the firm for a whopping Rs. 6,570 crore for development of a mega commercial hub.