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Noida Extension land violations: Probe report submitted

Officer on special duty says 27 officials violated rules; all, except four retired officials, responded to notices

noida Updated: Feb 08, 2018 23:06 IST
Vinod Rajput
Vinod Rajput
Hindustan Times
Noida Extension land violations,Noida Extension ‘mess’,OSD Vibha Chahal
The case pertains to acquisition of 3,000 hectares of agricultural land in Greater Noida for industrial use and its allotment to builders for residential use without approval from the NCRPB.(Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)

An officer on special duty to the Greater Noida authority on Thursday said she has completed the investigation into the alleged irregularity in land acquisition in Noida Extension (Greater Noida West).

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).

In 2011, the Allahabad high court had directed the then UP chief secretary to order a probe into the authority’s decision in proceeding to implement its Master Plan-2021 without the approval of the NCRPB. However, no action was taken in the last six years.

“I have completed my investigation into the Noida Extension case. Prima facie, it seems that 27 officials violated rules in the land acquisition process. I had given opportunities to all 27 to file their replies against the allegation of a violation. All of them, except four retired officials, replied to my notices. The probe report is ready and I will submit it to the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Greater Noida authority this week,” Vibha Chahal, officer on special duty (OSD), said.

In December 2017, the Uttar Pradesh government had directed the authority to reinvestigate the case after Jewar MLA Dhirendra Singh demanded action against officials responsible for ‘Noida Extension mess’ in the UP assembly in last year’s winter session. Following the instructions, the Greater Noida authority CEO, Debasish Panda, had appointed OSD Vibha Chahal for reinvestigation.

The Allahabad high court, in an order passed on October 21, 2011, had stated,“No clearance has yet been obtained by the Greater Noida authority for its draft Master Plan-2021. Steps that were taken for land acquisition, development, 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.

Chahal, however, refused to give more details about the violations in the land acquisition.

“I cannot share more details about the probe report. The Greater Noida CEO will go through it first, after which further action will be decided upon. The report will be sent to the state government for action,” Chahal said.

She said that the 23 officials, who have served their replies, have defended themselves. “They said that they did not violate any rule in the acquisition and completed the task within applicable rules,” Chahal said

What is the Noida Extension ‘mess’

The Greater Noida authority had acquired 3,000 hectares between 2008 and 2010 for industrial development in about a dozen villages in the area currently designated as Noida Extension or Greater Noida West. The land was acquired for setting up industries to generate employment and fuel local economy.

In 2008, however, the land use was changed from industrial to residential (group housing) and officials continued with the acquisition, after which farmers began moving court.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 23:06 IST