In a fresh development in the multi-crore rupee scam involving irrigation department land, the Noida authority said that the previous Mayawati government wanted to sell the land worth Rs 10,000 crore (the expected value after conversion of land use) to private builders.
The authority has also said it will return hundreds of acres of land of Yamuna floodplains to the state irrigation department. The land had been transferred to the authority during the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) regime in 2009.
The state government on Thursday said the transfer caused the state exchequer a loss of Rs 2,642.20 crore. It said the land worth R2,707.20 crore was transferred after a payment of only R65 crore. The government said the authority wanted to change the land use and sell the vast tracks to private builders.
“A major portion of payment to be made to the irrigation department remained unpaid. Now we will take back our money and return the land to the irrigation department,” said Sanjeev Saran, chief executive officer (CEO), Noida authority.
Officials say that the BSP government wanted to sell the land worth R10,000 crore (value after the conversion of land use from agriculture to commercial) to builders. “The plan of the previous government was to first get this irrigation department land transferred to the authority and then sell it to developers after changing the land use. But before the plan could materialise, government in the state changed,” said the CEO.
There are some contradictions regarding the quantum of land transferred and payment made. The Noida authority said it had to pay R400 crore and it paid R90 crore for 200 acres of land. The CAG has estimated the land cost at R2,707.20 crore. The irrigation department says 1,078 acres of land was transferred, while the CAG report mentions 195 acres of land was transferred.
“The total land transferred is 1,078 acres. This land is in small patches and located on both sides (Delhi-Noida border) of the Yamuna. On Noida border the land is in three patches of 20, 163 and 441 acres. While on Delhi side the land is in two patches -- 317 and 137 acres,” said a senior official of the irrigation department, showing land records.
“UP irrigation department land is located in east Delhi areas, beginning from the iron bridge (Loha Pul in Ghandhi Nagar) to Noida border. Besides some pieces of land are located in South Delhi’s Jamia Nagar side,” said the official.