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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

21 Greater Noida officials may face action in Noida Extension change of land use scam

cities Updated: Dec 04, 2019 19:18 IST

The Uttar Pradesh government is likely to take disciplinary action against 21 Greater Noida authority officials who were allegedly involved in the allotment of housing land to builders in Greater Noida West, which was earlier known as Noida Extension, in violation of norms.

The case pertains to the acquisition of agricultural land for industrial use and allotment of the same to builders for residential purposes without the approval of the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB).

As per the probe, these officials were allegedly involved in changing the land use in violation of norms and allotting the land to builders.

In 2011, the Allahabad high court had directed the then UP chief secretary to order a probe into the authority’s decision to implement its Master Plan 2021 without the approval of the NCRPB. However, no action was taken in the last eight years and the probe did not reach any logical conclusion, officials of the Greater Noida authority said.

On June 11, 2019, the UP government appointed the Greater Noida authority additional chief executive officer KK Gupta to investigate this case. Gupta submitted the final report to the government on October 11, 2019. On receipt of the final report, the UP government’s industrial and infrastructure department issued notices to 21 officials involved and asked them to file a reply in a week’s time.

“If the 21 officials do not submit a reply, then it will be considered that they do not have anything to say in this regard and the action will be initiated against all of them as per the provisions of UP government service rules, 1999,” read the letter. According to the communique, the probe report has established that the 21 officials had violated rules.

In December 2017, the Uttar Pradesh government had directed the authority to reinvestigate the case after Jewar MLA Dhirendra Singh demanded action in the UP assembly against officials responsible for the‘Noida Extension mess’.

Following the instructions, then Greater Noida authority CEO Debasish Panda had appointed officer on special duty (OSD) Vibha Chahal for a reinvestigation. But that probe came to naught. As a result, KK Gupta, additional CEO, was appointed investigating officer.

One of the 21 officials HT spoke to said, on condition of anonymity, “We are likely to submit our reply to the UP government. We did not commission any violation as we only followed orders of senior officials. If any action is initiated against us, we will approach the court for justice because the NCRPB approvals were obtained later for the Noida Extension land as per rules.”

The Allahabad high court, in its October 21, 2011, order had stated,“No clearance has yet been obtained by the Greater Noida authority to its draft Master Plan 2021. Steps that were taken for land acquisition, development activities, including creation of third-party rights, were not in conformity with the NCRPB 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 stated.

The Greater Noida authority chief executive officer Narendra Bhooshan said, “I am not aware of this case.” The Greater Noida authority additional CEO KK Gupta did not reply to repeated calls.