Greater Noida: Even as Rahul Gandhi took up the farmers' fight to save their land land against Mayawati's land acquisition plans, the Supreme Court struck down the acquisition of 156 hectares in Noida extension as illegal.
The Supreme Court agreed with the Allahabad High Court which said 156 hectares in the Shaberi Village in Greater Noida had been taken from farmers for industrial projects, but was actually being sold to commercial developers for high-profitable apartment complexes.
The judges said, "Everything is meticulously planned. ..it is a brazen overreach of the judicial process. The authority has to act in public interest but what it did was to serve private builders' interest. You don't understand the psyche of a farmer. Land is his mother ."
The Supreme Court order cancelling the land acquisition by the Mayawati government in parts of Noida Extension has left 6000 flat owners anxious about their investment, though developers insist that their investments are safe.
"We are seeing nervousness and there is no denying it. The developers have made it very clear that the affected end users need not worry, they would either be sifted into similar projects or their money would be refunded,"said Panjak Bajaj, President, Confederation of Real Estate developers (CREDAI).
At Shaberi the builders are already removing signs of their presence and it's not just farmers here in UP but across the country who are watching to see how events unfold.
Flat prices are holding firm for the moment, but that may change soon. Next week the Allahabad High court will start hearing more than 24 petitions filed by over 120 villagers from nearby Besra, Patwari and Hawatpur villages where 1200 hectares of land was taken over by the UP government for the builders.
"Like Shaberi, the way the land acquisition was cancelled by the court, the same will happen there too. The Government has harassed the farmers by buying land so cheap and selling it to big builders," complained a farmer.
Land in these villages was acquired by the local administration at a fraction of the market value by invoking the emergency clause of the land acquisition act.
The Noida authority had initially claimed and taken over the land, saying it would be used for industry, but within days officers reclassified it as residential land, and sold it to developers at 10 times the value.
So land bought at Rs 711 per square yard, sold for Rs 5,000 per sq yard.
This was struck down as illegal by the Supreme Court earlier this week.
"They (SC) have said that due process should have been followed and to let the farmers object if they wanted...if it means slowing acquisition of land... so be it," said Panjak Bajaj, President , Confederation of Real Estate developers (CREDAI).
Story first published:
July 09, 2011 09:11 IST