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UP finishes probe into Noida Extn mess, heads may roll

india Updated: May 14, 2012 00:16 IST
Darpan Singh
Darpan Singh
Hindustan Times
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The Uttar Pradesh government has completed its probe into “the whole exercise, which led to the Noida Extension stalemate”. The final report is likely to be submitted on Monday and government sources say “heads may roll for the mess”.

The previous Mayawati government had ordered an inquiry into the impasse after the Allahabad high court last year directed the then UP chief secretary to order a probe into the authority’s decision in proceeding to implement its master plan-2021 without the approval of the NCR planning board. Sanjay Agarwal, health secretary in the previous government, conducted the probe and submitted his report to the Samajwadi Party government soon after it came to power in March.

Because of certain irregularities, construction work in Noida Extension has remained halted for seven months now, giving tension to thousands of middle-class homebuyers.

UP chief secretary Javed Usmani asked the infrastructure and industrial development commissioner, Anil Kumar Gupta, to examine the report and submit a final report. Gupta is understood to have completed the exercise.

On Saturday, Gupta came to Greater Noida and held a meeting with Greater Noida authority officials. He also visited the controversial Noida Extension area and also took stock of other stuck projects such as Gautam Budh University. Gupta would submit his report to Usmani.

The Allahabad high court in its order passed on October 21 last year said, “No clearance has yet been obtained by the Greater Noida authority to its draft master plan-2021. Steps taken for land acquisition, development activities including creation of third-party rights were not in conformity with the NCR Planning Board Act, 1985.”

“The authority has acted in a manner which is nothing but a deliberate violation of the NCRPB Act, 1985 and in spite of the directions given by this court in an earlier case,” the court said.

“A thorough inquiry is necessary in the whole exercise undertaken by the Greater Noida authority and by the officers of the highest level in the state government,” it said.

The court also said the authority could not proceed to implement the master plan 2021 till it is permitted by the NCR planning board. The court also sought a probe into decisions taken to change the land use and make allotments to builders as well as indiscriminate proposals for acquisition of land and an appropriate action in the matter.

What had happened

The authority acquired 3,000 hectares of land between 2005 and 2010 for industrial development in about a dozen villages today known as Noida Extension

In 2008, it changed the land use to residential (group housing) and continued with acquisition. Farmers began moving court in 2007.

About 2,500 hectares of land was allotted to builders in 2009.

Last year HC returned land to farmers in two villages. It later said realty projects could go only after the master plan was approved by the NCR board.

This has halted construction of 2.5 lakh planned houses, 1 lakh of then already booked.