‘90% farm­ers say they won’t move court’

Ya­muna Ex­press­way In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity CEO PC Gupta tells Jee­van Prakash Sharma that the re­main­ing 10% farm­ers have re­fused to ac­cept com­pen­sa­tion for ac­qui­si­tion

HT Estates - - Front Page -

Ever since its in­cep­tion in 2001, the Ya­muna Ex­press­way In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (YEIDA) has made ef­forts to en­sure the avail­abil­ity of af­ford­able hous­ing op­tions and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties along the Ya­muna Ex­press­way. This area is to­day con­sid­ered the best al­ter­na­tive to Noida Ex­ten­sion and Greater Noida.

There are, how­ever, nu­mer­ous chal­lenges that the au­thor­ity faces - timely com­ple­tion of de­vel­op­ment schemes be­ing one of them. In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with HT Es­tates, P C Gupta, CEO, Ya­muna Ex­press­way In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, talks about prob­lems faced, the schemes chalked out for all res­i­den­tial, in­dus­trial and in­sti­tu­tional schemes and all that is re­quired to make plans work. Ex­cerpts: It will be one year since the Ya­muna Ex­press­way was opened to traf­fic on Au­gust 9, 2013. Have the ob­jec­tives of build­ing the high­way been ful­filled? When the Ya­muna Ex­press­way was in­au­gu­rated last year, ex­cept for the ini­tial few days when peo­ple were al­lowed to drive with­out pay­ing the toll fee, the aver­age daily com­muters to Ali­garh, Mathura, Agra and sev­eral other places in that area were 4000 to 4500. To­day, the num­ber has gone up to an aver­age of 8,000 daily. So the data clearly speaks that the ex­press­way has pro­vided res­i­dents a fast- mov­ing cor­ri­dor to min­imise travel time to con­nect the main town­ships/com­mer­cial cen­tres on the eastern side of Ya­muna. To­day the up­com­ing huge ur­ban con­glom­er­ates in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghazi­abad have easy ac­ces­si­bil­ity to Ali­garh, Mathura and Agra - which is home to In­dia’s top tourist at­trac­tion. We are also work­ing on en­sur­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the ar­eas ad­join­ing the high­way. The Ya­muna Ex­press­way cor­ri­dor is bound to have huge im­pact on the eco­nomic growth not only of Ut­tar Pradesh but the ad­join­ing states of Ra­jasthan, Mad­hya Pradesh and Haryana in the com­ing years. The ex­press­way was also built to re­lieve traf­fic pres­sure on National High­way-2 (NH-2) which runs through the heart of cities like Farid­abad, Bal­lab­garh and Pal­wal. But that does not seem to be hap­pen­ing. Why? I agree that peo­ple from ma­jor parts of Delhi, such as south and west etc don’t use the Ya­muna Ex­press­way for sev­eral rea­sons. With a flyover at Badarpur, a ma­jor traf­fic bot­tle­neck on NH-2 has been cleared to some ex­tent. Also, peo­ple from south and west have to travel a long dis­tance to reach Ya­muna Ex­press­way while NH2 is closer to them. How­ever, if the Ya­muna Ex­press­way hadn’t hap­pened, th­ese 8,000 peo­ple would have used NH2 and the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion would have been worse than what it is to­day.

In fact this six-lane ex­press­way will be ex­panded to eight lanes once the aver­age num­ber of com­muters goes up to 25,000 daily. Can you share all the de­vel­op­ment schemes that you have launched till now? Ini­tially, the YEIDA had launched a spe­cial de­vel­op­ment zone scheme of­fer­ing a large chunk of land, of about 1000 hectares, for de­vel­op­ment of a core ac­tiv­ity such as sports, recre­ational, res­i­den­tial, in­sti­tu­tional, in­dus­try, ser­vice in­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy. As there were not many tak­ers for the scheme only one 1000-hectare plot was al­lot­ted (at ac­qui­si­tion cost plus ex­tra de­vel­op­ment charge) for sports to JP In­frat­ech and it de­vel­oped the For­mula1 track. An­other scheme was launched in 2009 when 21,000 res­i­den­tial plots of dif­fer­ent sizes in sec­tors 18 and 20 were launched. As part of an­other af­ford­able hous­ing scheme for eco­nom­i­cally-weaker sec­tions, 4425 four-storey flats each mea­sur­ing 30 sq mt, cost­ing R7.22 lakh each, have been launched for al­lot­ment.

About 73 plots have been al­lot­ted to In­sti­tu­tions and cor­po­rate of­fices for in­sti­tu­tional de­vel­op­ment. Aca­demic ses­sions of Gal­go­tia univer­sity and Noida in­ter­na­tional Univer­sity have started af­ter build­ings on their cam­puses were com­pleted. Many in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment schemes are on the anvil, the lat­est one be­ing closed on July 31, 2013, as per which 100 hectares of land has been ear­marked for al­lot­ment.

We have planned to launch schemes for big in­dus­tries, ware­hous­ing, in­sti­tu­tions, recre­ational green and af­ford­able hous­ing in the near fu­ture. Can you give a break-up of the to­tal land ac­quired and dis­trib­uted for var­i­ous de­vel­op­ment schemes? We have ac­quired ap­prox­i­mately 11,500 hectares of land in six dis­tricts of our no­ti­fied area, of which some 4100 hectares have been al­lot­ted to JP In­frat­ech for the de­vel­op­ment of Ya­muna ex­press­way, land for con­ces­sion, fa­cil­i­ties, toll plaza etc. About 270 hectares has been al­lot­ted for in­sti­tu­tional land use, some 1000 hectares for sports ac­tiv­i­ties, 850 hectares for 21000 res­i­den­tial plots and about 500 hectares for res­i­den­tial use to builders. We have also given 1000 hectares of land on ac­qui­si­tion cost for spe­cial de­vel­op­ment zone (SDZ) with sports as core ac­tiv­ity, in which they (JP In­frat­ech) have launched a sports city and de­vel­oped In­dia’s first For­mula 1 track. The au­thor­ity still has a land bank of about 1000 hectare for in­dus­try, in­sti­tu­tion, recre­ation and res­i­den­tial land use. Out of the to­tal ac­quired land, ap­prox­i­mately 40% is be­ing used for green ar­eas and trans­porta­tion and phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture for bet­ter liv­ing con­di­tions and im­proved en­vi­ron­ment. There have been re­ports which sug­gest that many of your schemes and ex­ter­nal de­vel­op­ment such as sec­tor roads etc have been stalled be­cause of stiff op­po­si­tion from the farm­ers. Is this true? What are the de­mands of the farm­ers and how is the au­thor­ity go­ing to ad­dress them? Look, 90% farm­ers have given their land un­der the KARAR agree­ment where they have given us a writ­ten as­sur­ance that they will not go to any court to op­pose our ac­qui­si­tion process or the rate of com­pen­sa­tion. It’s just the 10% who have re­fused to ac­cept com­pen­sa­tion. Now they are de­mand­ing in­creased com­pen­sa­tion at the rate of 4.7% and 10% de­vel­oped land. We are try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate with them and re­solve the is­sue. Is it true that af­ter the Bhatta-Parsaul vi­o­lence, the Au­thor­ity has not been able to ac­quire any land at all? In such a sce­nario, how will you ex­e­cute Mas­ter Plan 2021 (Phase II) for which you need to ac­quire a huge chunk of land for var­i­ous de­vel­op­ment pur­poses? The sce­nario has changed now. The farm­ers are ready to give land through ne­go­ti­a­tions. We have ini­ti­ated process of con­sen­sual pur­chase of land di­rectly from the farm­ers. We have suc­cess­fully pur­chased some 725 hectares land by way of di­rect pur­chase for the de­vel­op­ment of a 765 KVA sub­sta­tion near Ja­ha­gir­pur, in­dus­trial land in sec­tors 12B and 12C, in­sti­tu­tional land in Sec­tor 15A and land for a 60-me­tre road

par­al­lel to the ex­press­way. Do ar­eas along the Ya­muna Ex­press­way come un­der the National Cap­i­tal Re­gion Plan­ning Board (NCRPB)? Is it also true that the NCRPB has ob­jected to land ac­qui­si­tion in this area be­cause of low pop­u­la­tion den­sity? Yes, the to­tal num­ber of 131 vil­lages in dis­trict Gau­tam Budh Na­gar and 40 vil­lages in Dis­trict Bu­land­shahr come un­der the NCRPB. The board has not ob­jected to land ac­qui­si­tion. How­ever, it was sug­gested that the land be­ing scarce com­mod­ity there was a need to go for high den­sity in­stead of low-den­sity de­vel­op­ment. On the sug­ges­tion of NCRPB, we have re­vised our draft Mas­ter Plan and now the pro­posed den­sity of the town is 104 PPHA (per per­son per hectare), com­pa­ra­ble to other NCR town. There have been a lot of al­le­ga­tions that de­vel­op­ers are sell­ing projects to home­buy­ers with­out get­ting con­struc­tion plans ap­proved. Can you please pro­vide a com­plete de­tail of all the real es­tate play­ers in the area and how many of them have got their plans ap­proved? It is not in my knowl­edge. How­ever, con­struc­tion plans are be­ing ap­proved as per reg­u­la­tions by the Au­thor­ity for var­i­ous al­lot­tees. Do you think the scrap­ping of the air­port pro­ject at Je­war has ham­pered de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in the area? Has the govern­ment been able to de­cide on any area for an air­port? Right now we are fo­cus­ing on ar­eas which are pro­posed to be de­vel­oped ac­cord­ing to the 2021 Mas­ter Plan. We are work­ing on de­vel­op­ing this area as per the Mas­ter Plan. Do you think Ya­muna Ex­press­way presents a great in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity in Delhi NCR? How? Yes, Ya­muna Ex­press­way area’s lo­ca­tion strate­gi­cally con­nects it to a num­ber of ex­press­ways pro­posed or un­der con­struc­tion in the NCR, such as the Eastern Pe­riph­eral Ex­press­way, the Khurja-Pal­wal Ex­press­way and the Ya­muna Ex­press­way. It is also close to Delhi and to the emerg­ing ag­glom­er­a­tion of Noida, Greater Noida and Ya­muna Ex­press­way. The area has aban­doned wa­ter re­sources to sup­port ur­ban­i­sa­tion and am­ple land is avail­able for de­vel­op­ment. We will make sure we de­velop this area as an en­vi­ron­men­tally eco-friendly city with green in­fra­struc­ture.

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