New Delhi, May 12: The Yamuna Expressway Development Authority has sold off lands in and around Bhatta Parsol village even before it had acquired them, says an India Today report.
Most farmers do not even know that the land which they think is theirs and on which they cultivate has been sold off without their knowledge and consent.
About one-and-a-half years ago, the authority floated a residential scheme under which 21,000 plots of sizes ranging between 300 square metres to 4,000 square metres were allotted, all at one go. The combined area of the plot is said to be greater than the total area of all plots offered by the Greater Noida Authority over the past 20 years.
In fact, most of the allottees have reportedly even deposited the money with the authority and nearly half of them have already executed their lease agreements, says the report.
But the shocking part is that the Yamuna Expressway Authority allotted the plots which it did not legally possess. Apart from the authority , more than 1,000 private builders have also been selling plots on which they have no legal possession.
A copy of the layout plan released by the authority reveals that the J-block of the scheme falls entirely in Bhatta Parsol.
All lands in proximity to this area have also been sold in the form of plots by the authority and the private builders. And a huge chunk of them had not been acquired at the time of selling.
"The expressway authority acted for reasons best known to it by plotting agricultural lands which was not at all in its possession. It had neither notified the acquisition of the village lands, nor had reached any agreement or compromise with the villagers. This is a massive cheating," Brijesh Sharma, a real estate analyst in Greater Noida, said.
"If, for some reason, the allotment gets cancelled now, it would be difficult for the authority to save its face because of the huge money it has collected from the allottees," he added.
High Court lawyer and Noida resident Amit Khemka said: "The concept of welfare state, as part of which these authorities were created, has been completely forgotten in the name of development. These authorities have turned commercial organisations of late, playing at the hands of private business houses.
"There is no analysis of the policies of the government. In fact, there is no policy at all. There is total ad hoc-ism. Whatever the civil servants think right, they execute it without any control. There is no transparency, no objectivity in their functioning."
Khemka added: "This is nothing but institutionalised cheating. Had this been done by a private company, a case of cheating would have been lodged against it. But since this is the government itself, they can easily manipulate the system. The courts must haul them for cheating," Khemka said, adding, "Worldwide, there is no trend of habitation along expressways".
The farmers, on the other hand, claimed they had no idea about the alleged fraud played out on them.
Kesar Singh, a resident of Bhatta, who had fled the village following police brutalities, said: "We were only given a blurred picture that they would bring a township, but we did not know till date that they have already done plotting on our lands. The government had even threatened to acquire our lands forcibly if we did not give them up on our own. They have cheated us," he said.
The report said, Yamuna Expressway deputy chief executive officer R. K. Singh told India Today he was on leave and out of the town for 10 days. Mohinder Singh, chairman of the authority, did not answer calls.