The clearance of Greater Noida Master Plan 2021 by the NCR Planning Board is definitely a big hurdle removed from the path of development. But this alone doesn't guarantee a trouble-free future for Noida Extension.
Farmers of several villages have moved the Supreme Court against a high court decision which upheld land acquisition. The high court last year ordered increased benefits to farmers. But the farmers, whose land has been acquired, want their land back.
"The cases could go either way. The issue of master plan approval will be relevant only when the apex court does not set aside land takeover and the land remains with builders," admitted a senior government official.
"The authority should have waited for the Supreme Court order before allowing builders to start construction," said a group of residents which has written to the state government against the "hasty" commencements of realty projects. "How can banks resume home loan lending when the land title is to be decided in the highest court of the country," they have asked.
"What if the (apex) court gives a verdict favoring the farmer? Will it not again sound the death knell for projects? Will not the hopes and aspirations of hundreds of investors be shattered once again? Will it not initiate a disastrous chain reaction of financial losses?" the group has asked in the letter.
Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (KSS), an umbrella body of farmers, said, "We have moved the Supreme Court seeking our land back. So we're not bothered about the master plan approval. Land acquired forcibly for industrial development cannot be used for realty projects.
"The authority doesn't have developed land to give to farmers. The court ordered we must get 10 per cent share in land acquired and developed as post-acquisition rehabilitation benefits. But it (the authority) has allotted almost the entire residential land to builders and buyers," the letter said.
A senior authority official admitted it was difficult to allot 10 per cent developed land to farmers as this would disturb the balance of the master plan which allows only 21 per cent of the total land to be used for residential purposes.
"The tussle will continue as the authority has only 340 hectares of residential land left while the (residential) land requirement is about 800 hectares," said a farmer leader.