In Noida Extension land row, buyers' woes know no end. But there's another casualty. Big-ticket urban development and infrastructure projects launched by the state government in Noida Extension have been disturbed beyond repair.
On Tuesday, the Allahabad high court quashed acquisition of about 600 hectares of land in village Patwari. Builders said roughly 20,000 buyers have been affected. But the damage caused is bigger.
The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) will have to dig up two important inter-city road links and make the stretches "fit for cultivation".
The authority will not be able to build its planned Metro line from Noida to Greater Noida via Noida Extension. GNIDA chief executive officer (CEO) Rama Raman confirmed undoing of the road links and shelving of the Metro project.
GNIDA has so far spent R1,500 crore in Noida Extension in terms of infrastructure development. The authority has stopped all development works in the belt. The common refrain is: when roads have to be dug up and returned, why build one?
GNIDA deputy CEO Akhilesh Singh said, "Seventy per cent work on the Greater Noida-Noida road (130-metre-wide, 28-km-long) was over. The link was even operational in patches. But since it passes through Shahberi, Patwari (land acquisition has been set aside in both cases), Haibatpur, Itaidha (court will hear petitions from these villages) and some other villages, this road has to be returned to farmers in the form of agricultural field."
Similarly, the Greater Noida-Ghaziabad road (60-metre-wide, 22-km-long) will be undone as its patches fall within the affected areas of Noida Extension.
The authority had also started work on sector development. "Apart from those who booked flats with private builders, about 3,000 plots had been allotted by the authority to residents in sectors 2 and 3 of Greater Noida. Since this area falls within Patwari, the authority will have to rehabilitate the allottees," Raman said.
"As per our masterplan, only 19 per cent of the total land acquired in the area had been allotted to builders. Rest of the land has been allotted for construction of institutions (schools, colleges, hospital) industrial and commercial purposes. Some of these institutions will also be affected when land is returned to farmers," Singh said. Academic session has also started at Sarvottam Institute of Management and Technology, which has been hot by the court verdict.
Half the land acquired for construction of houses has been used or, in some cases, set aside for creation of public facilities. With more and more villages moving court, seeking quashing of land acquisition, officials fear the planning and execution of development in Greater Noida will be disturbed beyond repair.
Anxiety has begun looming in fully developed sectors of Greater Noida too. Occupants already staying in constructed houses are getting jittery.
"Yes, people who were given possession long back are asking if acquisition of land on which their houses stand can be quashed too. We are assuring them in those areas there is no dispute. The houses there are safe," said a builder.