The Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority (Yeida) chief executive officer (CEO) Arun Vir Singh on Friday formed a five-member committee to investigate into an alleged scam related to 80 acres acquired for a power station along the Yamuna Expressway.
The committee has been formed as farmers have demanded a probe into the matter and identification of government officials who allegedly bought agricultural land from them at cheaper rates in 2012-13. Later in the same year, they allegedly sold the same land to the Yeida at a much higher rate.
It was alleged that the land was purchased from farmers for Rs2 lakh per bigha and later acquired by Yeida from the officials for Rs10 lakh per bigha. Farmers alleged that these officials knew the government needed this land for a power station project.
The 80 acres are located in Sector 9 along the 165-km Yamuna Expressway that connects Greater Noida with Agra.
“Some government employees are alleged to have earned Rs8 lakh per bigha in the deal. These officials were aware that UPPCL wanted to acquire this amount of land in the area. Therefore, these unscrupulous officials fooled the farmers, who were unaware of acquisition of their land by the power corporation,” said a Yeida official.
Echoing similar views, Thakur Mukesh Bhati, a farmer, said, “Noida and Greater Noida officials had parked their black money in buying agricultural land. Later they made a profit and got the money in cheques, converting the same into white money by the government itself.”
The committee appointed is headed by Yeida additional chief executive officer (CEO) Amarnath Upadhyay. The four members of the committee are an officer on special duty (OSD), general manager (land), general manager (projects) and general manager (finance) of Yeida. The committee is directed to submit a preliminary report in 15 days.
“I have formed the committee so that it can be clarified whether the government officials or private persons violated norms to make profits. I checked the land acquisition files and found that the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) asked us to acquire 80 acres for a power station. UPPCL paid the money to farmers for land acquisition,” said Arun Vir Singh.
Upadhyay said he will study all the files related to the large-scale land acquisition. “Only after studying the files will we be in a position to come to any conclusion about the case,” he said.