The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has claimed it had sold Noida Extension farmland — acquired from farmers — to real estate players for construction of residential towers “without any actual profit”.
The authority said it had, thus, no powers to effect a hike in compensation already paid to farmers. The admission may hit talks the authority intends to have with farmers to save Noida Extension projects. Back-to-back court orders, quashing land acquisition, have jeopardised the fate of thousands of houses.
GNIDA says 1 sqm of land, after passing through different stages of development, costs R11,000 for the authority. This is roughly the rate at which land was sold to builders.
GNIDA chief executive officer (CEO) Rama Raman said if farmers submitted a proposal for hike, the same would be forwarded to the state government for a final decision.
He asserted the GNIDA compensation rates were best in the country. “A huge hike was announced by the government in 2008. The compensation rate was upped from R400 to R850. The issue has to be decided by the state government.” The CEO said he was confident that the farmers would understand the authority's compulsions and the heavy expenditure it has incurred in the land acquisition.
According to the authority, R850 per sqm is paid to farmers as land compensation. For internal development, such as sector roads, electrification, the expenditure is R1,500 per sqm. The external development (wider roads links, etc) cost is R850 per sqm. On special development projects such as construction of hospitals, schools, fire stations, the cost incurred is R1,600 per sqm.
All such costs put together come to about R5,500 per sqm. Plus, only half the land is available for sale as the rest goes in development of roads and parks. The actual expenditure per sqm to the authority totals to R10,500 to R11,000.
“We are open to discussing all issues. We hope to have fruitful negotiations. We have extended an invitation for talks to village Patwari. All other villages will be included in the dialogue process,” the CEO said.
FIRST ROUND OF TALKS
The first round of talks between farmers and the Greater Noida authority began on Thursday. Around two dozen farmers from Patwari led by pradhan Reshpal Singh met Raman at the authority office. Reshpal said, “We had fruitful discussions over abadi land disputes and allotment of developed land plots. In the next round, we will discuss the issue of compensation hike.” The authority will talk to all Noida Extension villages one by one.