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Land battles

Land battles
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First Published: Tue, Jul 26 2011. 01 51 PM IST

Photo by Rishi Ballabh / HT
Photo by Rishi Ballabh / HT
Updated: Tue, Jul 26 2011. 01 51 PM IST
The Allahabad high court will today hear farmers’ petitions challenging the acquisition of land and subsequent allotment to developers in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, an area that became a hub of real estate activity in recent times because of its proximity to Delhi.
Photo by Rishi Ballabh / HT
Earlier orders by different courts on the UP government’s land acquisition practices have affected several underconstruction and newly announced projects in Noida Extension, in which around 30,000 home buyers have invested. With more petitions from landowners—mostly farmers—awaiting verdicts, more projects may be affected. On Sunday, farmers of 54 villages in Noida started demanding greater compensation and rehabilitation benefits for the land acquired by the government.
Mint takes a detailed look at real estate projects that have been hit by litigation so far.
Back ground
The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority, a department of the UP government, acquired the land for industrial purposes around three-four years ago using an urgency clause under section 5-A of the Land Acquisition Act. This clause has now been questioned by the Supreme Court. Roughly, 200,000 apartments were planned in Noida and Greater Noida combined. Most of the land in this region was acquired during 2007-08.
Hooked by low prices:
Noida Extension is a classic example of vagaries in the real estate market. After 2009, while areas in the Delhi-National Capital Region such as Gurgaon, Dwarka and Noida have been offering apartments at an average basic rate of Rs5,500, Rs5,000 and Rs3,500 per sq. ft, respectively, Noida Extension has been attracting home buyers because of the price advantage it offers. Since January 2010, the area has seen the entry of small- and mid-size developers offering apartments in the range of Rs1,600-1,900 per sq. ft. Around two years ago, when developers started annoucing projects in the area, they coined a new name for the region—Noida Extension. Officially, the area is a part of Greater Noida.
Earlier verdicts: 19 July
The Allahabad high court quashed the acquisition of 589ha of land in Patwari village, where several projects were coming up. Specific details of what portion of each project has been affected are not available with the developers, who have decided to appeal in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, an association of home-buyers, the Noida Extension Flat-Buyers’ Welfare Association, is trying to be party to all court hearings in the coming days.
Impact: 20,000 flats out of 100,000 flats planned in the area. Around 4,250 plots allotted to individual buyers through two housing schemes have also been affected.
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Today’s case
The Allahabad high court on 20 July had said that all petitions on land acquisition should be clubbed together and heard on 26 July. The court was dealing with petitions from farmers of Roza-Yaqoobpur and Itheda villages in Greater Noida, who had challenged the acquisition of 468 hectares (ha) by the state government in 2007-08.
Farmers from villages such as Amnabad, Bisrakh, Haibatpur, Kherpur and Ghanghola have also challenged the state government and the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority.
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6 July
The Supreme Court upheld the Allahabad high court’s order to return 156ha of land to farmers of Shahberi village. Before this verdict, the high court had denotified acquisition of 170ha and 70ha of land in Gulistanpur village and Surajpur village, respectively.
Projects in the area
• Smart City (Amrapali Group)
No. of units affected: 4,000
Developer’s action: Shifted 3,000 buyers, 200 buyers refunded
• Ecovillage 2 (Supertech)
No. of units affected: 700
Developer’s action: Buyers given the shift or exit option
• Gulshan i Homz (Gulshan Homz)
No response from company
• Panchsheel Greens (Panchsheel Buildtech)
No. of units affected: 124
Developer’s action: Buyers given the shift or exit option
• Mahagun Myra (Mywoods (phase 2) Mahagun)
No. of units affected: 75
Developer’s action: Buyers given the shift or exit option
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What they say
“We earnestly hope that hon’ble high court will give hearing opportunity to 1 lakh flat buyers before passing any further order in the matter of land acquisition. We are also contemplating filing a review petition in Patwari cases as the flat buyers were not a party.”
Noida Extension Flat-Buyers’ Welfare Association
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“We are willing to become a party in the matter and will approach the Supreme Court along with all buyers and developers in the area seeking relief against the order on Patwari.”
Geetambar Anand, national vice-president, Credai
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“We have been stressing that we will protect the buyers’ interest and we need some time to decide on our next course of action.”
R.K. Arora, managing director, Supertech
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“It is not just the underconstruction projects that will get affected, infrastructure around the projects such as roads, plots allocated for schools, colleges, hospitals, and many IT offices also fall in the affected area.”
Anil Sharma, chairman and managing director, Amrapali Group
Compiled by: Devesh Chandra Srivastava
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First Published: Tue, Jul 26 2011. 01 51 PM IST