The Ghaziabad municipal corporation has given a month’s time to the Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the 100 acres it gave to the GDA for developing a ‘city forest’ project near river Hindon in Karhera.
The move came after the GDA sent a proposal to municipal corporation, asking it to provide alternative plots to several farmers whose land is still inside the area earmarked for the city forest.
However, the executive committee of the corporation turned down the GDA proposal and instead asked that the authority first sign the MoU that has been pending for long.
“Since the GDA has not signed the MoU with the corporation for the city forest, we urge them to sign it within one month. Otherwise, we will be forced to take back our land,” said Abdul Samad, municipal commissioner.
The 100 acres in Karhera is designated as ‘city forest’ under Master Plan 2021. The GDA requested the corporation for the land and developed it as a recreational park for citizens near Raj Nagar Extension. Since then, the agency has not signed the MoU -- which mentions several conditions -- with the corporation.
The authority has developed the area with trees, plants, boating, temporary shops and other facilities for visitors. The development started in 2014 but the land ownership is still with the municipal corporation.
The GDA officials said that they have not received any draft of the MoU from the corporation so far and are ready to give back the city forest to the corporation.
“We did not receive any draft of the MoU from corporation so far. If they wish to sign the MoU, they must send us a draft and discuss the modalities. If they wish, they can take over the city forest as we are spending a huge amount on its annual maintenance,” said DP Singh, officer of special duty, GDA.
According to authority records, it spends around Rs 6 crore every year on the maintenance of the city forest while it gets only Rs 5 lakh as revenue -- as ticket price and rentals from shops.