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- Noida Extension home dreams shattered as SC says land was meant for industries
Noida Extension, where the Supreme Court has cancelled acquisition of land for flats, was not meant to be a residential hub. Instead it was meant to host industries, attracting investment, creating jobs and fostering overall development.
For that matter, the whole of Greater Noida - Noida Extension is a part of it - was meant to be an industrial hub. In the last decade, however, not one big industry has come up in the region.
"This is the 11th year in a row that no big unit has come up here," Aditya Ghildiyal, vice-president of the Association of Greater Noida Industries (AGNI), said.
Moser Baer was the last company to set up a unit here around 1998. Honda Siel, LG, Denso, Asian Paints, Daewoo and Yamaha have plants running in Greater Noida but these units were set up in the 90s.
Today, multi-storeyed residential blocks dominate the skyline with land meant for industries sold to private builders. Say Greater Noida or Noida Extension and people think it is the best place to invest in a flat, a perception shaped by SMSes and newspaper advertisements from builders pitching flats to potential buyers. "Under the original plan, 75 per cent of Greater Noida was supposed to house industries. On the rest 25 per cent land, houses were to be built for people working in these units. Now, industries stand on less than 25 per cent land and multistoried residential complexes occupy the other 75 per cent," Ghildiyal said.
In a belated course correction, the UP government created a third industrial belt - the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority - to attract industries. But nobody seems attracted.
"If industries are not coming to Greater Noida, who would go to the Yamuna Expressway area, which is 15 km away from the former. They should have focused on Greater Noida and developed it properly," an AGNI official said.
Law and order is also an issue. A recent bid to kidnap officials of Japanese MNC Hongo has shaken multinationals.
"Of the existing units, a South Korean MNC has already set up an alternative facility in Pune as it faces trouble here while an unit of Delphi is on the verge of being shut down," Ghildiyal said.
So why are industries not being encouraged? It is not beneficial for the Noida Authority, allege local residents and villagers. "Unscrupulous Noida Authority officials have enriched themselves by selling industrial land to private builders, earning massive commissions in the process," Teja Gurjar, state president of the Jan Kranti Party (Kisan Morcha), alleged.
Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority CEO Rama Raman and chairman Mohinder Singh did not answer this correspondent's calls.
Noida Extension home dreams shattered as SC says land was meant for industries : North: India TodayCommentQuote0Flag
- Builder will refund money +INTERESTCommentQuote0Flag
- Authority hits back
The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has hit back. Farmers moving court will not get back their abadi land, which they claim, was wrongly acquired by the authority. As a result of non-settlement of the abadi land disputes, farmers will also not get developed plots, as rehabilitation benefit, in lieu of their farmland acquired. Other farmers are entitled to these two benefits, in addition to cash compensation.
“It’s a double whammy for us. We are entitled to getting back our abadi land. The government’s leaseback policy says so. This is not all. Since the government has always made it clear that until the abadi land dispute is solved, rehabilitation benefits by way of allotment of develop land cannot be given to farmers,” said Mahesh Awana, a farmer leader.
Those who have already got back their abadi land and developed plots and have moved court will have to forfeit these two benefits. “This is being done to put pressure on those moving court against the authority’s land acquisition policies,” said Manveer Bhati, another farmer leader.
GNIDA chief executive officer (CEO) Rama Raman said, “It’s our policy not to give these two benefits to those farmers who contest our acquisition policies in court.”
“There are two kinds of post-acquisition disputes — sometimes the authority is found to have acquired portions of farmers’ abadi land, while at other times farmers resort to encroachment and add to the actual abadi land. In the first case, we lease the acquired portion of abadi land back to farmers and in the second, farmers forfeit the encroached area. Allotment of developed land to farmers has to follow these two steps, depending on the case,” said an official.
The authority is also taking stern legal action against those who protested land acquisition, but are selling plots to colonisers. The authority has ordered lodging of FIRs against those involved in land deals in Noida Extension.
More than 1,000 land registries between farmers and colonisers have been executed in the area and a massive slum on the lines of Khoda (located off NH-24) is feared in Noida Extension too.
Government rules say in industrial townships, only development authorities can acquire land. The authority has ordered demolition of illegal colonies coming up in the area.
This has come after Hindustan Times on Thursday carried a report highlighting the fact that with the acquisition of land in Shahberi set aside by court and other villages seeking similar relief, colonisers have become active in the region.
During the hearing of the Shahberi case in the Supreme Court, the authority had said that it was forced to acquire land from farmers to ensure planned development and avoid illegal growth. The authority had bought land from farmers at R8 lakh per bigha. Colonisers are offering R35 lakh for the same size of land.
Authority hits back - Hindustan TimesCommentQuote0Flag
- Buyers meet builders, refund to start in a week
A day after Greater Noida CEO Rama Raman said those who have booked flats in Shahberi village projects will be relocated or refunded, hundreds of anxious buyers visited developers’ corporate and site offices in Noida Extension. Many buyers also reached Shahberi and met builders. Manmohan Juyal, who has booked a flat in Supertech’s Eco Village II, said, “There is till not much clarity.”
Those who visited the builders’ corporate offices asked for refund. Amrapali CMD Anil Sharma said, “My clients are satisfied.” But most other builders said, “We need a week’s time to know the exact locations of affected areas before we can get down to refund and relocation.
President of Noida extension owners and members association Prashant Gupta said, “Most buyers are not happy with relocation plans being offered. We will file RTI application to know the exact picture.” Raman has told builders to meet each buyer individually and address the concerns.
Builders said they could give a written guarantee that all investments were safe. “Builders must refund those who don’t want to relocate. We will bail out builders too, mainly to ensure buyers get their money back if they so wish.”
Buyers meet builders, refund to start in a week - Hindustan TimesCommentQuote0Flag
- Shahberi farmers say no second chance to Authority
The Greater Noida Authority may have plans to go for fresh land acquisition in Shahberi village, where the fate of thousands of houses being built by key real estate developers has become uncertain following a court order quashing the land acquisition, but farmers of the village are not in a mood to give a second chance to the authority as of now.
The authority has said it would go for acquisition only after hearing and addressing farmers' objections — something not done in the case of Shahberi and, thus, the process was held illegal by the courts. But villagers are not impressed.
Village head Chandra Dutt Sharma said, “We were beaten up, sent to jail. Policemen camped in the village. They damaged our standing crops and orchards. They didn’t agree to wait. We will not deal with the authority again.”
“The process of hearing objections is done away with only in case of projects of public good. But the state government is using the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act to suspend our right to object. The land use was changed from industrial to residential. Had it not been so, at least we would have got jobs for our children,” said Intsaab Hussain, a farmer.
Villagers said they were all waiting for the authority to return their land. About 90% of the farmers had not accepted the compensation and moved court against the acquisition.
Most of them hinted the land was no longer fit for cultivation because of the presence of concrete. Luckily, only 25 hectares of land (out of 156 hectares) had been used for construction. Builders deliberately went slow as they suspected the land was disputed.
Villagers said they have no hesitation in selling their plots to builders directly. Former village head Rajpal Singh said, "The authority may increase the quantum of land acquired, which is returned to farmers as rehabilitation benefits under its so-called new policy, but it will never pay us the market rates. It knows it will have to so all over the twin cities. And we are not interested in their money."
Momin Hussain, whose family will get 250 bighas of land after the SC order, said, “No one listened to us — neither the authority, nor the builders. Now, that we have won the legal battle, they are again coming to us. We know what to do with our land.”
Shahberi farmers say no second chance to Authority - Hindustan TimesCommentQuote0Flag
- Tables turned, Sahberi banishes Authority
Flush with their success in the long-drawn legal battle against Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), the farmers of Sahberi village are in no mood to give quarter to their adversary. While the authority, forced to return the village's acquired land under a Supreme Court order, has been making all the right noises about revisiting the land deal, offering the villagers generous compensation and reacquiring the land with their consent, the villagers are determined to have no truck with it.
"We are waiting for the authority to return our land. While we have not really decided what exactly we will do after that, one thing is for sure that we are in no mood to have any new negotiations with GNIDA," said Sahberi's pradhan (headman), Chander Dutt Sharma, on Saturday.
The villagers, who have been in a huddle with Sharma to decide their future course of action for the last three days, seem in no hurry to forgive the authority for bulldozing them out of their property.
"All of a sudden the development authority is calling us its partner in development. What about the time when it was forcibly taking over our farmlands? We held sit-in protests and they did not even blink," said Rajpal Singh, former pradhan of the village. "Neither GNIDA nor the builders listened to us then. Our protests were suppressed, so why should
we cooperate with the authority now?" Nadeem Hussain, another resident who lost 35 bighas of his land after GNIDA invoked the urgency clause, said, "I used to grow vegetables on my land before it was acquired, and I might go back to doing the same. Whatever I do with my land in future, I will do so on my own terms not the authority's".
"When land was acquired, we were not given a hearing. Actually, many farmers are open to selling land directly to builders. If we are given market rates, we have no problems with selling our land directly to builders," said farmer Mosin Hussain, who had lost 250 bighas of his land.
On Friday, GNIDA CEO Rama Raman had said the authority would follow the Supreme Court's orders in "letter and spirit" and return the land to farmers.
Greater Noida Authority officials had added that once the process of returning land to farmers was completed, the authority would try and reacquire this land as per section 4 of the land acquisition Act, after giving farmers a "fair hearing and with their full consent."
Tables turned, Sahberi banishes Authority - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote0Flag
- Buyers demand written promise
The Supreme Court order upholding the denotification of 156 hectares in Noida Extension has brought alive the worst fears of homebuyers. The most important question on the minds of thousands of buyers is the status of their investments even as developers insist their money is safe.
For the third day in a row, buyers made a beeline for the developers' site offices. Many others reached the construction sites in Noida Extension-Greater Noida area through the day seeking an "official clarification and written assurance that their money would be safe in all circumstances".
Manmohan Juyal, who has booked a flat in Supertech's Eco Village II, said, "The biggest problem is that nothing is clear. There is nobody to guide us, to tell us the actual status of our flats. Whether these, too, are disputed or is there any possibility that they are also likely to run into legal hurdles."
A group of around 60-70 people, all of whom have booked flats in the Noida Extension area, reached Sahberi village and visited the site offices of developers such as Supertech, Mahagun Mywoods and Gulshans Homz demanding some sort of guarantee in written from the developers that their respective flats were "safe".
"In order to protect the interests of around 300 residents of Sahberi village, over 6,000 families of flat buyers have suffered. While farmers are being projected as victims in this case, we wish to know what will happen to all the money that we have already invested in these flats," said Rajiv Aggarwal, one of the members of the online group NEMOA.
Aggarwal, accompanied by around 60 other buyers, visited the office of Mahagun Mywoods on Saturday morning seeking clarification on the status of their under-construction flats in the Yashpalgadhi area of Greater Noida.
The SC order deals specifically with land in Sahberi. But with people from nearby villages also on way to court, developers of upcoming projects in Greater Noida are having a tough time pacifying buyers.
"People are very apprehensive. But we want to assure buyers that there is no need to panic. Even if any other projects run into trouble, they will either be shifted to similar projects or their money refunded," said the spokesperson of Mahagun Mywoods.
Supertech reiterated that its projects are currently unaffected and since it has not begun work on the 5% of its land that falls in Sahberi, there was no question of refund yet.
Amrapali maintained it had already begun shifting or refunding buyers of Smart City in Sahberi.
Buyers demand written promise - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote0Flag
- 'Direct land sales will hit planning'
With farmers in Sahberi and other Noida Extension villages now eager to sell land directly to builders for higher rates, the govt is worried that planned development in the area could go for a toss. Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) on Saturday warned that smalltime 'colonisers' now active in the area could transform it into another Khoda colony, a massive slum along NH 24 in Noida.
TOI did a quick survey of the Noida Extension-Greater Noida belt and found several unauthorised enclaves plotted and sold by the farmers themselves to individuals and smalltime developers. Sources said more than a thousand such small plots have been registered in the area. Illegal colonies are visible in Sahberi, Chipyana, Haibatpur, Iteda, Gulistanpur and many other villages.
Surprisingly, after its recent showdown with farmers, GNIDA is counting on them to help it stop the spread of illegal colonies. "Farmers or any other individuals who get information about illegal colonies springing up should not hesitate in coming to us. People have the option of contacting GNIDA officials, the district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, the senior superintendent of police or their local police stations about any such encroachments," said Rama Raman, chief executive officer of GNIDA.
Raman said he had directed his officers to draw up a list of such encroachments and take action. "People should be aware that in industrial townships the industrial development Act does not allow builders to buy land directly from farmers. Only the authority can do so," he warned.
'Direct land sales will hit planning' - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote0Flag
- Supertech :CommentQuote0Flag
- I'll say..opt the third option given by Supertech.CommentQuote0Flag
- Wow, this is great. Never seen any builder to be so honest about anything in last few years. Still doesn't matter, so go with the 3rd option.CommentQuote0Flag
- Good Start
Really great. Did not see such honesty from Real State Builder in past. It may turn to good start in NE and helpful in restoring faith in buildersCommentQuote0Flag