Greater Noida: Special team to investigate land leaseback scam | noida | Hindustan Times
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Greater Noida: Special team to investigate land leaseback scam

In the guise of leasing back land to local farmers, the Greater Noida authority officials had leased back the residential land to non-farmers in 2010, who did not even belong to the area. This was termed as violation of norms.

noida Updated: Apr 16, 2018 13:27 IST
Vinod Rajput
The authority had mistakenly acquired land owned by farmers but it was not returned to those concerned.
The authority had mistakenly acquired land owned by farmers but it was not returned to those concerned.(HT File)

A special investigation team (SIT) is expected to probe into an alleged ‘leaseback scam’ that took place in Greater Noida in 2009-10, officials said.

The issue pertains to the leaseback of residential land to non-farmers in an alleged violation of norms. Leaseback refers to the authority (state government) giving notified land back to farmers.

The authority had mistakenly acquired parts of residential land owned by farmers for development and other infrastructure projects in 2009-10.

However, faced with strong objection and farmers’ protests, the authority officials had decided that the residential land would be leased back to them.

In the guise of leasing back land to local farmers, the Greater Noida authority officials had, in 2010, leased back the residential land to non-farmers, who did not even belong to the area. This was termed as violation of norms.

Following complaints, divisonal commissioner (Meerut) Dr Prabhat Kumar had, in June 2017, appointed Arun Vir Singh, chief executive officer (CEO), Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority (YEIDA), to conduct a probe into this alleged scam. Singh has now completed his probe and found gross violations in the leaseback case.

“I have completed my investigation and found out that around 50 hectares of land has been leased back to non-farmers, who belong to Maharashtra. This leaseback scheme was only meant for local farmers. Many officials such as tehsildars, the lekhpal and other staff members were involved in and aware of the violations. Ten people were shown as local farmers in land records while their passports, which were attached to the applications, had shown them as residents of Maharashtra,” said Singh.

Now that the CEO of the YEIDA has completed his probe, Kumar will take the case to the next stage.

“Since there is strong evidence to prove charges of corruption against certain officials, the commissioner has decided to recommend an SIT probe in this case. As many top officials are involved in this scam, an SIT will be able to do justice in this case,” said Singh.

Officials said that the 50 hectares in question is estimated to be worth ₹1000 crore.

“Many officials are likely to face legal action because they have overlooked the papers attached with the applications. And they deliberately favoured non-farmers and gave them benefits meant for local farmers,” said Singh.