HC to hear pleas of Noida Extension farmers today

The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority has received two jolts with its land acquisition in two villages, Shahberi and Patwari, being spiked by the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court, respectively.

The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has received two jolts with its land acquisition in two villages, Shahberi and Patwari, being spiked by the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court, respectively. But it?s all ending up to be a Catch-22 situation with all the parties involved in a bind. Buyers, developers, farmers, and now even contractors and labourers of the stalled projects, are mulling their options in the face of this crisis.

They are keeping fingers crossed for Tuesday, when the Allahabad High Court is expected to hear the farmers? petitions for the rest of the Noida Extension villages.

These villages include Roja Yakubpur, Bisrakh Jalalpur, Haibatpur and others. According to the Confederation of Real Estate Developers? Association (CREDAI) estimates, more than 50 projects by 25-30 developers are stalled in Noida Extension. Overall, 2.5 lakh houses had been planned in more than 12 villages of the area.

?This was a land grab. We were not even asked and the urgency clauses (Sections 4, 6 and 17(4) of the Land Acquisition Act) were used to take our land away. We were told that industries would be set up in the area and we would get employment. But the authority stabbed us in the back by selling our land immediately to real estate developers at more than 10 times the compensation we received,? said 65-year- old Reshpal Yadav, gram pradhan of Patwari, where 589 hectares were acquired. Residents claimed that while land was acquired from them at R85 lakh per hectare in 2008, it was sold off to developers at R10.5 crore per hectare, while the estimated market value was around R6crore. Villagers want the developers and the GNIDA to return them the land after restoring it to cultivable agricultural land. ?We just want the land back first,? said Harish Chandra Sharma, whose five acres were acquired.

However, villagers in Itehda are in no mood to take back the land, as they say it?s not cultivable anymore. Itehda is one of the villages that is expected to get a decision from the high court on Tuesday.

?Around 350 hectare land was acquired from our village. Now 10-12 storied structures stand on our land. We just want the Authority to compensate us as per the market value,? said 42-year-old Satpal Singh Yadav, 9 hectares of whose family land was acquired in 2008.

The most jittery of all the stakeholders are the consumers who have booked their flats in Noida Extension. RP Tyagi, president of Noida Extension flat buyer welfare association said they are anxiously waiting for HC decision. ?We have paid the money and now we do not see a possibility of getting the possession,? said Tyagi.

Tuesday will also decide the fate and the further plan of action for the builders whose projects have run into jeopardy. ?We are waiting for July 26 for the HC to give a decision in order to assess exactly how many and what parts of our projects have been affected. We are with all our buyers and to protect their investments and interests is a matter of priority to us,? said Ajay Kumar, director, Amrapali Group. Parts of three of Amrapali?s projects ?La Residentia, Ultra Home and Leisure Valley?have been affected by the HC order.

Supertech , whose Eco Village-I project falls in Patwari village said it was waiting for the HC order before discussing the issue with the Authority. ?The question of refund or relocation does not arise as yet and we need to wait. We will meet the Authority and decide if at all we have to seek legal redressal. We will protect our buyers? interest and claim our losses from the Authority,? said R K Arora of Supertech.

Developers have reiterated that the ?fault? lies with GNIDA ?and that they will claim losses from the Authority . ?We could never have anticipated that acquisition of state land could be quashed like this. Patwari is different from Sahberi, where farmers were yet to claim compensation . So we went ahead and carried out construction at a good pace,? said Anil Sharma, chairperson and MD, Amrapali group. When contacted by FE, Rama Raman , GNIDA chief executive officer refused to make any comments.

Meanwhile, even the laborers and contractors have jumped into the battle and staged a protest at the Noida Extension main round-about. They allege that they haven?t received pay for over two months due to the crisis.

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First published on: 26-07-2011 at 03:12 IST