Noida Land Scam, a throwback - Part IV

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Noida Land Scam, a throwback - Part IV

Monday, 02 May 2022 | R B Sinha

Noida Land Scam,  a throwback - Part IV

RERA failed to detect limitations on 70 per cent of the Sports City plot, endangering the interests of home-buyers

Though the Noida Authority had committed to monitor the progress of project in the brochure, none of the envisaged sport infrastructure projects has been completed as yet. Neither has the Authority encashedon the indemnity bond of the allottees for failure to complete the project within stipulated time.

In case of allotments in SC 01 in Sectors 78/ 79(allotted in May 2011), SC 01 in Sector 150 (allotted in May 2011) and SC 02 in Sector 150 (allotted in September 2014), the allottees were required to complete the project in phases within five years from the date of execution of lease deed. In case of SC-01 in Sector 152 (allotted in July 2015), the allottee was required to complete the construction of the international level cricket stadium in the first phase within three years and the remaining residential and commercial projects within five years from the date of execution of the lease deed.

The C&AG has pointed out that plots for Sports Cities were allotted without preliminary consultation with national/international bodies like BCCI, ICC and without fixing and prescribing the technical specifications, etc., required for different sports infrastructure -golf course, international level cricket stadium, Tennis centre, Multi-purpose Sports Hall for Gymnasium, Volleyball, TT, Basket Ball etc. They also didn’t do any due-diligence and analysed the reasonableness of the rates/bids quoted by the allottees. It was therefore no wonder that none of the envisioned sports infrastructure have been completed in last ten years though the construction of sports infrastructure was to be given priority in Sport City and completed first and only afterwards, other residential and commercial projects were to be taken up. However, the allottees took up the GH projects first and two residential projects have not only been taken up but completed or partially completed.

Though the terms and conditions prescribed in Brochures permitted sub-division of the plots meant for only residential and commercial use (30% of the sport city plots), the Authority allowed sub-division of the entire plot (826 acres) of the 4 sport city projects into 81 sub-plots thereby destroying the entire concept of development of integrated Sport City. The 578 acres of land earmarked for sport infrastructure in 4 sport cities was too sub-divided into 34 sub plots, thereby making the objectives of Integrated Sports infrastructure like nine-hole golf course in three sport cities in sectors-78/79 and 150, international cricket stadium in Plot SC-02 in sector 150, unachievable. The work on cricket stadium has not even commenced though it was to be completed by the end of 2018. The Authority has not yet encashed the indemnity bond of the allottee.

RERA failed to detect limitations on 70 per cent of the Sports City plot, endangering the interests of home-buyers. It is also observed that UP RERA has registered residential and commercial projects of the allottees/sub-allottees without noting the limitations on the use of 70 percent of plot of land for Sports infrastructure as mentioned in the lease agreement executed by the Authority. As none of the major Sport infrastructure has been undertaken till date and none of the 9-hole golf courses and International Level Cricket Stadium are likely to be completed in near future, the homebuyers of those residential projects being constructed are likely to face issues in getting their flats registered. Incidentally, most directors of all 4 SPCs at the time of allotment have since resigned and left. The decision of the Noida Authority to approve the use of increased FAR of the entire area of the sport city in residential/ commercial projects of allottees/sub-allottees without ensuring the construction of integrated sport infrastructure in 70% area of each Sport city project is injudicious and highly improper. It wouldaffect the future prospects of the home buyers of these residential projects as their flats cannot be registered unless envisioned integrated sport infrastructure in 70 % area of each sport city project.

Further, the C&AG has determined that NOIDA Authority had given significant incentives of Rs 8,643.61 crore in terms of reduced pricing of plots and allowance of extra Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and Ground Coverage (GC) to the 3 real estate developers for development of sporting infrastructure as against the payment of Rs 5598 crores made for 33, 44, 193 sqm (826 acres) of land. Keeping in view the ongoing development of group housing projects vis-vis little progress observed in development of sports infrastructure in these Projects in last ten years, it would tantamount to providing undue benefit of Rs 8,643.61 crore to these three developers. NOIDA Authority, while allowing the builders to pursue group housing projects, abdicated its total responsibility towards completion of envisioned sports infrastructure. 

Thus, the world class sports infrastructure envisioned by the Board in 2007 for holding national and international sports events failed to materialise even after a decade. Though the main objectives of establishment of sports city have not been achieved, these developers appeared to have grabbed nearly 825 acres of prime land in the city at one-third of the market rate with aid and abetment of senior officials of the Authority. Incidentally, there was a single CEO of the Authority who dealt with the allotment of Sport City plots in 2010-11 and 2014- 2015.

Discretionary allotment of Farm Houses at prime locations on throwaway prices: In 2009-2011, Noida Authority allotted 157 plots for farm houses of 10,000 sqm each aggregating 18,37,340 sqm in prime sectors of Noida at one-fifth of market rates in an arbitrary and discretionary manner mostly to big business houses, influential real estate developers/ builders, politicians, prominent lawyers and their family members without following any transparent bidding process under schemes which did not have any objective criterion for selection of the beneficiaries. Many companies, their directors, family members etc cornered multiple plots at throwaway prices. There was no bidding and selection of allottees was done based on an “interview” by a committee.

The C&AG has pointed out following cases of multiple allotments:

Allotment of 11 plots (FH -3 & FH-19/164, FH-4 & FH-18/164, FH-2 & Fh-20/164, FH-5/164, FH-6/164, FH-17/164 and FH-1 & FH-20/165) was made on 30 March 2011 to the companies/entities of the same group (Anil Kumar and Company).

Allotment of four plots (FH-2, 3, 4, 5 sector 131) was made on 27 July 2009 to a group of companies with the same promoter/director (Rajiv Kumar).

Allotment of seven plots (FH-15 & FH-18/128, FH-25 & FH-26/128, FH-27, FH-28 & FH-29/128) was made on 30 October 2009 to four companies of the same promoters (Sanjeev J Aeren and Sunita S Aeren).

Allotment of seven plots ( FH-16 & FH-17/128, FH-11 & FH 22/128, FH-23, FH-24 & FH-33/128  was made (two on 26 March 2010 and five on 30 October 2009) to three companies (Meadows Infradevelopers Pvt. Ltd., Glory Infrabuild Pvt. Ltd. and Handful Infra Developers Pvt.Ltd.) of same promoters (Ankur Chadha and Geetu Arora).

In two cases it was observed that four plots ( FH-11 & FH-22/128, FH-12 &  FH-21/128) of sector 128 of two companies (Meadow Infradevelopers Pvt. Ltd and Snerea realtors Pvt. Ltd.) allotted on 30 October 2009 were transferred to the same individual, Vichitra Lata, on 28 September 2010. (To be continued)

(The writer is a retired DG of the C&AG of India and a member of RERA, Bihar between April 2018-December, 2021. The views expressed are personal.)

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