About 22,000 plots and Rs 2,000 crore, already invested by way of registration fee and installments, have been caught in the aftershocks of a farmers’ agitation at Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater Noida.
The 21,900 applicants, who were allotted residential plots about three years ago by the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) in sectors 18 and 20, falling in Bhatta-Parsaul and adjoining villages, are yet to get possession and, more delays are likely.
Vast chunks of land where residential plots have to be carved out continue to be agricultural fields. The authority is yet to get possession of this farmland, which is said to have been acquired using force, and it has not been able to start internal, sector development activities. Farmers are going about agriculture activities, halting the handing over of plots, seeking greater compensation of their land acquired.
Worse still, farmers have moved against the acquisition. The Allahabad high court has not yet begun hearing the petitions. The NCR planning board has already objected to massive acquisition of land despite a low population density. Without the board's nod to the master plan, starting construction will always be a problem in future.
Victor Singh (38), a resident of Bhatta, points to standing crops in the fields in front of his charpoy. “Rich people come in their big cars and keep staring at the landscape. In Yamuna authority’s master plan, these are sectors 18 and 20.” Plus, some of the plots fall in areas which have to be allotted to farmers as post-acquisition rehabilitation benefits.
A worried allottee, Ajit Singh, said, "I don't know when work will resume and when we will get possession." "As per the agreement, we cannot even transfer the plots. Because of the agitation and delays, rates are falling rapidly. We feel cheated," said another investor.
This is the first and only residential scheme launched in 2009 by the YEIDA. "The deadline for giving possession is November 2013. We’re in talks with farmers. We hope to start construction of roads and creation of green belts soon," said an official. “We had hired agencies for construction of roads and erection of electricity poles. Work had started but the agitation caused delays,” he said.
Two farmers and two policemen were killed at Bhatta-Parsaul last year when clashes broke out over land acquisition by the authority. The agitation had assumed political overtones because of the involvement of several leaders, including Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.