A citizen’s watchdog has claimed that the Haryana government’s land acquisition for roads in proposed sectors 58-115, earmarked in Gurgaon Manesar Urban Complex 2021 was aimed at benefiting private developers and the state lost around Rs 8,000 crore in the exercise.
The government had so far acquired 1416 acres for the project. The body has demanded state chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to order a probe into the whole land acquisition controversy.
According to the office-bearers of the Gurgaon Citizens’ Council, private developers used to directly purchase land from farmers. Out of this, according to norms, the developers have to leave out 45% of the land for development of community sites such as roads and drains.
The developers also pay external development charges (EDC) for this and Haryana Urban Development Authority constructs roads and other civic infrastructure.
But in the latest acquisitions, the government first took land from farmers for roads and then allowed developers to purchase land from farmers.
For the purchase of 1416 acres the government paid farmers Rs 55 lakh per acre while the going market rate is Rs 4 crore.
Of late, the government has allowed developers to construct roads by themselves in their acquired sectors.
By this step, the government loses huge amounts, which it would have got as EDC. Moreover, since the government has acquired land from farmers free of cost for “community sites” farmers are also at a loss.
“By allowing private developers to construct roads, the government is losing out on EDC. Besides, farmers also lost a huge sum which they otherwise received from the developers at prevailing market rates,” said RS Rathee, president of the GCC.
However, financial commissioner and principal secretary to the state government (town and country planning) SS Dhillon refuted the allegations of ‘wrongful acquisition’.
“The move is not aimed at helping private developers. The developers in many cases have handed over a portion of land they purchased directly from the farmers to us for laying road network. We have been acquiring land for roads earlier also as we did in sectors 31, 51 and 52. We acquired land for Northern Peripheral Road (NPR) Expressway (Dwarka Expressway) and awarded the compensation to the tune of Rs 850 crore to farmers.”
Rathee claimed real estate players who developed DLF City, Sushant Lok, South City etc. in Sector 1 to 57 had purchased land from farmers and gave 45% of it for roads to Huda.
“Ever since private builders began developing real estate in Gurgaon since the 1970s, it has been an established principle that they acquire land directly and then hand over land to Huda, along with EDC,” he said.