The unmaking of a metropolis: CAG’s lens on Noida exposes a number of improprieties in land allocation that authorities should reply

Uttar Pradesh is usually within the information, even when there aren’t any elections. It’s a giant state, with a big inhabitants. It has a big economic system and India’s progress and growth trajectory are depending on what occurs to UP. Its districts are heterogeneous and a shade over 10% of UP’s GSDP originates from Gautam Buddha Nagar district, which incorporates Noida, Larger Noida, Dadri, Jewar and Dankaur. UP is a state with extremes, comprehensible for a big state. There are districts like Gautam Buddha Nagar, Lucknow, Agra and Prayagraj. And, there are districts like Chitrakoot, Mahoba, Shravasti and Balrampur. Nonetheless, visibility-wise (relying definitely on who’s viewing), Noida will get some additional prominence, and now, so does Larger Noida. Noida is a “deliberate metropolis”, as is Larger Noida, the extension.

Noida was arrange on April 17, 1976. Part 3 of the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Space Growth Act 1976 supplied for notification of a Noida Authority and the 1976 laws was “for the structure of an Authority for the event of sure areas within the state into industrial and concrete township”. Noida has received a number of awards.

However there’s one facet on which Noida has received no awards. I’m referring to CAG’s Efficiency Audit Report on “Land Acquisition and Allotment of Properties in NOIDA” in Uttar Pradesh. That is Report No. 6 of 2021, tabled on December 17, 2021. “This Report of the Comptroller and Auditor Common of India (CAG) accommodates vital observations arising out of ‘Efficiency Audit of Land Acquisition and Allotment of Properties in New Okhla Industrial Growth Authority (NOIDA)’ in the course of the interval 2005-06 to 2017-18 of the Authorities of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP). The Report emanates from the scrutiny of information and paperwork pertaining to NOIDA and assortment of knowledge from different Authorities Departments and companies viz. Registrar of Corporations (RoC), Uttar Pradesh Actual Property Regulatory Authority (UPRERA), Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Restricted (PVVNL) and so on., and its cross verification with the info of NOIDA. In July 2017 GoUP entrusted the audit of NOIDA, and three different Industrial Growth Authorities (IDAs) to the CAG.” That is the primary such report and the target sounds affordable. Within the pursuits of transparency and accountability, there must be many extra of the sort. However the Noida report belies such hopes.

To cite once more, “The audit of ‘Land Acquisition and Allotment of Properties in NOIDA’ has raised severe questions of propriety and pointed to governance failure at each degree. In the middle of acquisition of land, the rights of farmers have been side-stepped by way of misuse of statutory provisions. The allotment of properties was replete with situations of lack of due diligence, contravention of guidelines and orders, misrepresentation and wilful concealment of details. In quite a few instances, allotment has been made to entities who didn’t meet the important standards laid down within the brochures, leading to allotment to entities with out monetary capability for executing such initiatives. This has brought on extreme misery to house patrons on account of incomplete initiatives and an enormous quantity of outstandings remaining overdue to NOIDA. The milieu created by NOIDA and in a number of situations endorsed by the Board with respect to selective modifications in brochure circumstances, under-pricing of sure classes of plots and allotment in classes at decrease charges together with discount of allotment cash, mortgage, sub-division, permission to exit and switch clearly counsel that officers in NOIDA had acted in clear breach of public belief and in full disregard to the curiosity of NOIDA and the house patrons. The creation of third-party rights within the allotted properties has put the pursuits of stakeholders in additional peril. Regardless of the clear proof of breaches, the Authority did not act in opposition to builders/allottees and take motion in opposition to its personal officers for his or her dereliction of responsibility and position in allowing/abetting the persevering with infractions. These points carry out severe lapses of probity, integrity and ethics in governance of the Authority.”

I’ve merely quoted from the Preface. The 425 pages within the report ought to scandalise all of us. Let me go away apart land acquisition points and provides a pattern of what occurred as soon as land had been acquired. “Consequently, land use conversions have been regularised by introducing numerous actions viz. sports activities metropolis and combined land use, schemes not interrelated with the core goal of NOIDA have been launched and numerous actions not permitted in agriculture use, institutional use and industrial use have been allowed inflicting loss to NOIDA.” Or, “NOIDA allotted 67 group housing plots measuring 71.03 lakh sqm which have been sub-divided into 113 plots by the allottees. Audit noticed that out of the 113 initiatives, 71 initiatives have been both incomplete or partially accomplished, which constituted 63 per cent of the full initiatives. Out of the 1,30,005 flats sanctioned, Occupancy Certificates was not issued for 44 per cent of flats, resulting from which home-buyers who’ve invested their lives’ financial savings and hard-earned cash within the buy of flats nonetheless remained disadvantaged of possession of their flats. Although the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Space Growth (UPIAD) Act, 1976 has prescribed penal measures for defaulters, NOIDA had did not take motion for enormous dues in opposition to the builders even after lapse of the tenure for cost.” There may be rather more. How did this go on with impunity and who’s culpable? In equity, many suggestions made by CAG have been accepted.

The writer is Chairman, EAC to the PM

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