M A I N   N E W S

Another Gr Noida jolt to Maya

Allahabad, July 19
In yet another setback to the Mayawati government, the Allahabad High Court today quashed acquisition of nearly 600 hectares of land in two villages in Greater Noida, giving a big jolt to builders and prospective home owners.

Giving relief to the farmers while dealing with their petitions, a division bench comprising Justice Sunil Ambawani and Justice S S Tiwari ordered that acquisition of 589.13 hectares in Patwari and Dewla villages under Dadri tehsil of Gautambuddh Nagar district by the Greater Noida Authority be cancelled.

The order, which follows the one in the neighbouring Shahberi village, could affect several housing projects in the area.

Several builders have launched housing projects in Patwari village and hundreds of people have made bookings in the upcoming dwelling units, some of which are either in various phases of construction or in the drawing board stage.

In 2008, the Greater Noida Authority acquired nearly 589 hectares in Patwari village and sold it to builders for constructing residential units.

The High Court was of the view that since the land was acquired for residential purposes, there was “no urgency involved” and hence “acquisition should not have taken place without giving the affected parties an opportunity for hearing, which would have facilitated payment of adequate compensation”.

The order came barely a fortnight after the Supreme Court had struck down acquisition of 156 hectares of land by the state government in Shahberi village in the area, saying the authorities were “subserving” private builders in the name of public interest.

The apex court had on July 6 upheld the Allahabad High Court order which had quashed the land acquisition by the Greater Noida Authority under the urgency clause of the Land Acquisition Act and directed that the property be returned to farmers.

It had also said the builders should return the money collected towards the sale of flats in the village. The Authority and builders had moved the apex court challenging the High Court decision.

Today's order was passed on petitions filed by more than 100 people from the two villages who had moved the court, challenging acquisition of their land by the state government without them being given an opportunity to raise their objections and without being offered adequate compensation. The order comes as a major embarrassment to the Mayawati government. The High Court had set aside the acquisition of 150 hectares of land in Shahberi village in the Greater Noida area on May 12. — PTI





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