The Allahabad High Court has quashed land acquisition in only one village in Noida Extension. But the spectre of uncertainty looms large over a bigger area of the project as people of several other villages in the fast-emerging real estate hub have moved the court. They are seeking the quashing of government notifications as they said their voices were not heard before their land was acquired.
Noida Extension has close to 40 builders constructing about one lakh units. Bookings for 50,000 units have already been completed. Developers like Supertech, Earth Infrastructure, Amrapali, Gaursons, Panchsheel, Ajnara and others have launched their projects in the area. Prices of each unit range between R9 lakh and R70 lakh.
But the scene has changed after the high court's verdict. Builders' kiosks which greeted visitors are slowly disappearing. The air is thick with dust storms caused by receding heavy construction vehicles, at least in and around Shahberi village where farmers have got back their 150 hectares of land.
The corporate offices of all major builders in Noida are flooded with people inquiring about the fate of their houses.
"There is a clear sense that the way court judgments are coming and some more are expected, the business will take a hit, at least for sometime," said a real estate agent.
In the Noida Extension area itself, hundreds of farmers from Patwadi, Bisrakh and Khairpur villages have moved court. Those located nearby such as Milak Lacchi, Jalalpur, Vaidpura and Sadullapur have approached court.
Pankaj Dubey, counsel of some farmers whose land was acquired without considering their objections, said: "Farmers of villages, including Gulistapur, Hazratpur, Khapkheda, Sudna Khurd and Vaidpura, have also moved court, seeking similar relief."
There are several other villages simmering with protests against land acquisition policies for long.
Farmers are seeking, among other demands, that 50% of the entire land acquired from them be developed (with water, power supply and sewage lines) and returned to them. Other common demands include 80% of market rates as compensation and plots to landless farmers.