‘Pay now or your plot is can­celled’

HSIIDC asks buy­ers in Mane­sar to pay twice the orig­i­nal cost of the plot to com­pen­sate farm­ers

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE -

In 2001, when Heera Gupta (name changed) was al­lot­ted a 450 sq m plot in Mane­sar by Haryana State In­dus­trial & In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd ( HSIIDC), it cost him ₹ 8 lakh. After 13 years, the Cor­po­ra­tion has raised an ad­di­tional de­mand of ₹ 16 lakh, say­ing that if he fails to pay up, his al­lot­ment will be can­celled.

Gupta is not the only one faced with this sit­u­a­tion. There are more than 540 plot own­ers against whom sim­i­lar de­mands have been raised by the HSIIDC. Be­sides, there are 50 group hous­ing projects too whose flat own­ers share the fi­nan­cial bur­den rang­ing from ₹ 4 lakh to ₹ 10 lakh. The rea­son be­hind this ad­di­tional de­mand is a 15- year- long lit­i­ga­tion be­tween farm­ers and HSIIDC in which the Supreme Court in 2012 de­cided in favour of the farm­ers.

The dis­pute be­tween farm­ers and HSIIDC started in 1994 when HSIIDC ac­quired 1749 acres of land be­tween 1994 and 1997 from farm­ers at a cost of ₹ 4.13 lakh per acre. From 1999 on­wards, HSIIDC al­lot­ted this land to plot own­ers, co­op­er­a­tive group hous­ing so­ci­eties, in­dus­tries and in­sti­tu­tions at dif­fer­ent rates. Mean­while, the f ar mers ap­proached the Gur­gaon dis­trict court de­mand­ing ₹ 20 lakh for one acre. The issues were fi­nally set­tled by the Supreme Court which up­held the farm­ers’ de­mand and asked HSIIDC in 2012 to pay ₹ 20 lakh for an acre in­stead of ₹ 4.13 lakh per acre.

The in­creased com­pen­sa­tion in­creased HSIIDC’s bur­den by ₹ 1,524.5 crore which it de­cided to raise from its al­lot­tees. “We are not against en­hanced com­pen­sa­tion to the farm­ers but the way HSIIDC has ar­rived at an amount that has to be re­cov­ered from the plot own­ers, flat buy­ers and

in­dus­tri­al­ists, is highly un­jus­ti­fied,” says Gupta.

Ac­cord­ing to HSIIDC, each al­lot­tee has to pay ₹ 3,352 per sq m as an ad­di­tional charge but as per our cal­cu­la­tion each al­lot­tee should not pay more than ₹ 1,060, he says.

HSIIDC asked the al­lot­tees to pay their dues in five equal in­stall­ments. Ag­grieved by this de­ci­sion, the al­lot­tees took the mat­ter to the Pun­jab and Haryana High Court. The court di­rected the al­lot­tees to pay the first in­stall­ment.

“Now the court has asked us to pay the sec­ond, third and fourth in­stall­ments also say­ing that if the de­ci­sion goes in favour of al­lot­tees, the HSIIDC will re­turn the money with 18% in­ter­est. But it’s get­ting dif­fi­cult to raise so much money be­cause a buyer own­ing a 450 sq m plot will have to pay ₹ 16 lakh which is a huge amount,” says an al­lot­tee.

“Our de­mand is that when the al­lot­ment rate was dif­fer­ent for dif­fer­ent land use, how can the en­hanced amount ie, ₹ 3,352 per sq m be the same for ev­ery­one? Also, HSIIDC has taken into ac­count mul­ti­ple in­ter­est rates and added some rates on their own from 1994 to 2012 which is un­just,” says Jas­min­der Singh, sec­re­tary, IMT in­dus­trial As­so­ci­a­tion.

Adds Singh, “In the first hear­ing on De­cem­ber 4, 2012, the court took up our mat­ter and gave a pa­tient hear­ing to the al­lot­tees. In fact, on Oc­to­ber 30, 2013, it di­rected HSIIDC to hear our griev­ance and ad­dress it too. Due to sev­eral rea­sons, the mat­ter has been ad­journed for many months now and HSIIDC is threat­en­ing to can­cel the al­lot­ment if we don’t pay.”

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