The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday said 15,000 acres of irrigation department land was illegally transferred to the Noida authority during the previous Bahujan Samaj Party regime and sold it to private builders by changing the land use.
State irrigation minister Shivpal Singh Yadav said in the assembly that the transfer caused a loss of Rs. 2,642 crore as per a comptroller and auditor general (CAG) report. The minister said efforts would be made to restore the land.
The minister also said stern action would be taken against the then authority officials, who "committed the irregularities".
The state government has already ordered a probe into a scheme for farmhouse plots along the Yamuna launched in January 2009. The land was acquired in 12 villages for planned industrial development but it was allotted as 150 farmhouse plots.
The plots (10,000 sqm each) were allotted to 120 companies and 29 individuals and allottees were allowed to construct motels, banquet halls, swimming pools and similar facilities.
Industrial development officials in Lucknow said agricultural land could not be acquired for such purposes. Among the allottees are famous advocate Shanti Bhushan and his son Jayant Bhushan, who got a 10,000 sqm plot each.
This was not the only anomaly. Manoj Mishra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan told Hindustan Times on Thursday, "The authority also tried to reclaim over 15 lakh sqm of Yamuna floodplain. The Delhi L-G asked the chief secretary to move court, forcing the authority to go on the back foot."
"The authority proposed to build an embankment on the left bank of the Yamuna, stretching from NH-24 to the Chilla Regulator, in 2008. The Noida authority had no locus-standi on the floodplain," he said.
Currently, the district administration is carrying out de-silting in the Yamuna riverbed. Shivpal had in April come to Noida and told the district administration to launch a demolition drive in the floodplains and clear all kinds of encroachment.