Inquiry finds more irregularities in land acquired for Delhi Meerut Expressway project

The officials said that the sale deeds were executed in 2016 in the name of a cooperative society, which already stood cancelled in 1999. The administration officials said that the land was meant for the Delhi Meerut Expressway project and previously a similar case emerged in 2016 when FIRs were lodged upon inquiry initiated by then divisional commissioner Prabhat Kumar
Vehicles ply on Delhi Meerut Expressway, in Ghaziabad on Friday. (Sakib Ali/ HT)
Vehicles ply on Delhi Meerut Expressway, in Ghaziabad on Friday. (Sakib Ali/ HT)
Updated on May 20, 2022 11:50 PM IST
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In a latest inquiry carried out by the Ghaziabad district administration, names of several persons have emerged who allegedly carried out sale deeds related to land at Rasoolpur Sikrod and Matiyala villages even after the notification of land acquisition was issued for the Delhi Meerut Expressway project.

The officials said that the sale deeds were executed in 2016 in the name of a cooperative society, which already stood cancelled in 1999. The administration officials said that the land was meant for the Delhi Meerut Expressway project and previously a similar case emerged in 2016 when FIRs were lodged upon inquiry initiated by then divisional commissioner Prabhat Kumar.

Earlier this month, the state government had also initiated proceedings for recommending the suspension of 2004 batch IAS officer Nidhi Kesarwani, who had served as Ghaziabad district magistrate.

The present case involves an alleged misappropriation of estimated 22 crore, said officials. As per norms, the sale/purchase of land is not allowed after a notification is issued under the National Highways Act, 1956 (Section 3d).

“It has emerged in inquiry that the society in whose name the lease deeds were executed, was cancelled in 1999 and the suspect persons also made fake societies in order to pool more land. This was done after the notification was issued on July 3, 2012, while the sale deeds were executed in 2016. The amount involved (as loss to government exchequer) is estimated to be about 22 crore,” said Ritu Suhas, additional district magistrate.

Officials said that the anomaly emerged in several land chunk numbers belonging to the two villages, while an inquiry is also on for other land numbers of the said villages. They added that the pooling of the land by the cancelled society also allegedly violated the provisions of the UP Imposition of Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1960. They also suspect that some of the cases may have been put into arbitration with the district administration in order to get more land compensation for the amassed land.

In connection with the findings of the inquiry, the Ghaziabad district administration has forwarded a complaint to the police for lodging of an FIR against the office-bearers of the cooperative society in question.

“We are in process of receiving the complaint and an FIR will be lodged at the earliest. Police will start with immediate investigation and if need be, a larger team may also be roped in,” said Nipun Agarwal, superintendent of police (city 1).

In connection with the previous inquiry which unearthed the alleged scam, the then divisional commissioner Prabhat Kumar in 2017, had set up a detailed probe after complaints that certain officials allegedly connived with private persons and purchased land after notification was issued for the expressway. Later, the suspects allegedly got the land purchased in the names of their relatives.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Peeyush Khandelwal writes on a range of issues in western Uttar Pradesh – from crime, to development authorities and from infrastructure to transport. Based in Ghaziabad, he has been a journalist for almost a decade.

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