An estimated one lakh homebuyers are on the edge, as the Allahabad high court (HC) is slated to begin hearing of all land acquisition cases of Noida Extension on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a section of farmers in Patwari, where the state government has struck a deal to revive real estate projects, has moved the Supreme Court against the arrangement. The matter is slated to come up for hearing in the apex court on Wednesday.
While the Greater Noida authority hopes the court may allow time for out-of-court settlements, which will save realty projects, farmers are confident they will get their land back to be able to seek higher rates during resale.
In case of an adverse judgment, the entire Noida Extension project may be scrapped. More than 60 builders had planned 2.5 lakh houses in about a dozen villages (3,000 hectares) in Noida Extension. Booking for 100,000 units (worth R20,000 crore) had already been done. Buyers have invested R1,500 crore in pursuit of their dream houses.
Two court orders last month set aside forcible acquisition in Shahberi and Patwari, affecting 26,5000 buyers. “We’re hopeful of similar judgments. The urgency clause has been used in other Noida Extension villages too,” said farmers’ lawyer Pankaj Dubey.
The HC was to hear the cases of other villages, where 70,000-odd houses have been booked, on July 26, but it referred the matter to a higher bench and gave the government time till August 12 for an out-of-court settlement.
The Greater Noida authority on August 6 struck a deal with Patwari, but it has not been able to do the same in other villages. Greater Noida chief executive officer (CEO) Rama Raman said, “So far, 900 cheques have been distributed among the 1,400-odd Patwari farmers, whose land had been acquired. We hope the Patwari pact will get the court approval.”
“We will appeal to the court to allow us to have settlements with other Noida Extension villages. But this won’t be done on the lines of Patwari agreement. Each village has its own issues and demands, so the solutions will differ too,” Raman said.
Ever since the court allowed time for an out-of-court settlement, farmers in other Noida Extension villages have been holding meetings, trying to put pressure on the authority for a hike in cash compensation paid earlier, keeping thousands of homebuyers on the edge.