YEIDA audit shows acquired land was purchased again
THE IRREGULARITIES WERE REVEALED IN THE LAND AUDIT ORDERED BY UP CHIEF MINISTER YOGI ADITYANATH
GREATER NOIDA : The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) on Wednesday said it had unearthed a ‘huge’ scam involving officials who had purchased already acquired agricultural land from farmers, causing loss to the state exchequer.
The irregularities were revealed in the land audit ordered by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to find anomalies in land acquisition and establish if the acquired land is with the government or land grabbers. YEIDA, however, did not share the amount of losses or the land involved in the scam.
“We have adequate evidence to prove that some officials, hand in glove with the farmers, paid for the already acquired land. Once the report will be finalised, we will be able to tell the exact amount of land, which was purchased twice,” said Amarnath Upadhyay, additional chief executive officer of the YEIDA.
YEIDA is expected to complete the land audit by next month and table the report before UP industry minister Satish Mahana.
Mahana, on October 6, 2017, had asked the authority to check how much land it had in different categories, how much was already allotted and the size of the land that can be provided to investors in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway areas. The deadline for completing the land audit was December 21, but YEIDA is yet to finish the audit.
Explaining the delay, Upadhyay said, “The job requires time because we have to go into the details of each land parcel, which is suspected to be grabbed or seems disputed. During the audit, we have come across several cases, in which the acquired land was purchased again from the farmers.”
“It means that the Gautam Budh Nagar administration first followed due procedure in acquiring land. Then, it once again bought the same land through direct registry from the farmers,” said Upadhyay.
“We have cross-checked many a time to determine whether the same agriculture land has been bought from farmers twice or not. We have now confirmed the involvement of some authority officials, including some Tehsildar, Lekhpal and clerks. The YEIDA had to bear huge losses. Once the report is finalised, we will initiate action against the guilty officials,” said Upadhyay.
The Uttar Pradesh government had established Yamuna authority in 2002 to encourage industrial development and notified 2.5 lakh hectares of land along the 165-km Yamuna Expressway.
The Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority had so far acquired 12,000 hectares of agricultural land along the expressway which connects Greater Noida with Agra. However, most of this land is still in the possession of the farmers who had been demanding higher compensation. The YEIDA has already distributed R1,000 crore as compensation and yet to distribute R4,000 crore.