Experts blame unplanned urbanisation in Gurugram for realty slowdown | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Experts blame unplanned urbanisation in Gurugram for realty slowdown

Experts and residents have blamed the current slowdown in the real estate market in Gurugram on the policy of indiscriminate licensing and urbanisation of land by the Haryana government between 2006 and 2014, citing data from the department of town and country planning (DTCP).

gurgaon Updated: Jul 07, 2018 12:25 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
unplanned urbanisation,realty slowdown,real estate market
Data shows that licences were issued for building residences on 18,000 acres between 2006 and 2014. However, licences for construction on only 1,800 acres were issued between 2014 and 2018.(Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

Experts and residents have blamed the current slowdown in the real estate market in Gurugram on the policy of indiscriminate licensing and urbanisation of land by the Haryana government between 2006 and 2014, citing data from the department of town and country planning (DTCP).

An analysis of the data shows that licences were issued for building residences on 18,000 acres in these eight years. However, licences for construction on only 1,800 acres were issued between 2014 and 2018. As per data, 8,500 acres were licensed in a period of 23 years, from 1981 to 2004, which is quite less compared to the 2006-2014 scenario.

The acquisition of around 2,500 acres in Gurugram and Manesar has come under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), after its owners approached the court. Haryana was under the rule of the Congress government from 2004 to 2014, led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who has also been booked in the Manesar land scam.

Landowners alleged that the state forced them to sell land to developers by imposing punitive sections of Haryana Land Acquisition Act in an arbitrary manner. “I challenged the acquisition of land in Badshahpur by developers in the apex court, after which directions were issued for a CBI probe into the matter. Recently, the investigation agency met landowners in Badshahpur and took the details from us,” said Mahesh Kaushik, of Badshahpur, and a petitioner.

Haryana government had imposed Section 4 of the land acquisition Act to acquire 1,400 acres in sectors 58 to 63. The acquisition for 850 acres was done under Section 6 of the Act, but the state announced the award of acquired land for 87 acres only.

“All land was released to the developers and what is surprising is that all the civic amenities, facilities, roads and other facilities were planned on land owned by farmers. Senior officials colluded in this scam,” alleged Kaushik.

Indiscriminate licensing
From 1981 to 2004, 8,500 acres were licensed in a period of 23 years, which is quite less, compared to over 18,000 acres licensed between 2006 and 2014

Landowners allege that a similar method was employed by developers to buy 612 acres in Manesar, which was originally to be acquired by the Haryana State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC), but later, the acquisition was allowed to lapse, ironically, on the same day when the award was to be announced.

“Due to the state government’s pressure, most of the landowners sold land for cheap, entered into a collaboration and suffered losses. A CBI inquiry is now revealing the truth and has led to the booking of senior political leaders and bureaucrats in the land scam,” said Om Prakash, former sarpanch of Manesar panchayat.

From 2006 to 2014, the DTCP went into an overdrive and issued 2,328 licences for group housing (see box). Commercial projects were also launched on a large scale in 2005, 2006 and 2007 as the government awarded licences for 1045.98 acres, 2219. 9 acres and 404.192 acres, respectively, said real estate experts.

Such largescale and unplanned urbanisation were made possible due to three modifications to the Gurugram-Manesar master plans from 2007 to 2014, with plans being made for 2021, 2025 and 2031.

“Such large-scale expansion, without taking into account the demand and supply dynamics, is the reason that infrastructure and basic amenities are missing in new sectors, from 58 to 115. Where are amenities like water, power, roads, security and streetlights?” asks Sanjay Sharma, a real estate consultant.

Praveen Jain, vice-chairman, Real estate industry lobby group National Real Estate Development Corporation (Naredco) said, “Anyone with money and influence could become a developer not knowing that real estate is a complex business, which requires technical, financial and project management skills. With the arrival of the Haryana real estate regulatory authority (HRERA), things have improved and now, even the government is checking the antecedents of people who want to enter the trade.”

The Congress said that Gurugram developed because of their open door policy. “Licences were issued to everyone as per the norms and it is because of the policy of the Congress government that the city has developed. The allegations are part of the conspiracy to malign our government,” said Rao Dan Singh, member of All India Congress Committee, who was the chief parliamentary secretary in the erstwhile Congress government.

The CBI has sought details of immovable and movable assets of 66 officials of the town and country planning department and also of their relatives in connection with the Badshahpur probe, said officials. “We are fully cooperating with the investigation agency in the probe,” said RS Bhath, district town planner.

First Published: Jul 07, 2018 12:25 IST