A day after the Allahabad high court gave 18 days' time to the state government and agitating farmers in Noida Extension to work out an out-of-court settlement, largely through payment of mutually accepted compensation based on new rates, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has made the first move.
GNIDA chief executive officer (CEO) Rama Raman on Wednesday shot off a letter to Reshpal Singh, village head of Patwari, requesting him to come to the negotiation table and work out a formula.
Nearly 20,000 homebuyers, who had invested in 11 real estate projects in Patwari, have been left in the lurch because of a July 19 high court order, quashing acquisition of about 600 hectares of land in the village.
The CEO has referred to Tuesday's HC order, which has asked the two parties to try and solve the issue by August 12, and requested the village head to work in the interest of planned development of the area, farmers, the authority and thousands of worried buyers who have put in their hard-earned money in pursuit of their dream houses in the Noida Extension projects. A larger bench of the court will hear all related matters on August 17.
"Through you, I want to appeal to all villagers of Patwari to try and solve the issue," the letter reads.
Reshpal has reacted positively. "I'm happy to have received this letter. Efforts will be made to arrive at a consensus before negotiating the matter with the authority."
The village head, however, did say the offer had come late. "Had the authority shown this sincerity before, we would not have had to agitate and the situation would not have been this bad."
But the offer has not gone down too well with other villages. Manveer Bhati, a farmer leader in Bisrakh, said, "This is a pick and choose method. Other villages of Noida Extension have not been approached. We know for sure that the authority is not in a mood to pay higher compensation."
Bisrakh has the potential of causing maximum damage —nearly 50,000 houses have been planned by about a dozen key real estate players in the village — to the Noida Extension if the HC rules (hearing is slated for August 17) in favour of farmers.