Representative ImageNOIDA: Division of group housing plots, one of the reasons identified by the Comptroller and Auditor General for Noida’s real estate problems, will no longer be allowed.
A formal decision on this is likely at the next Noida Authority meeting. Efforts are on to schedule it before the dates for the assembly elections are announced in January and the model code of conduct comes into effect.
In its first comprehensive audit report, which looked into the functioning of the Noida Authority over a 13-year period from 2005-2018 and was tabled in the state assembly on December 17, the CAG pointed out that allowing third party rights on a plot allotted to a realtor to let in another had led to ballooning of dues because of the legal complications it had created, besides diluting the commitment of builders to deliver houses on time. Long delays in delivery timelines and thousands of crores in real estate dues are the two bugbears of Noida’s real estate industry.
The national auditor found large-scale irregularities in land acquisition, allotments and approvals in Noida, which it said was due to connivance between realtors and officials. “Audit found significant lapses in the policies adopted by Noida in the area of planning, acquisition of land, pricing of properties and allotment of properties under various categories. Failures were observed at the level of Noida Board, its management and officials,” the CAG report said.
Besides doing away with sub-leasing of group housing land, the Noida Authority board is expected to incorporate other suggestions of the CAG in its agenda for the next board meeting to streamline its functioning and strengthen revenue generation.
Among these is standardisation of the procedure of allotment of industrial plots by fixing parameters. “The allotment committee will have to go by a standard format in upcoming schemes and everything will be done in a transparent manner to promote industrial development. Unnecessary hurdles will be removed,” a senior officer in the state industries department said.
Setting up a mechanism to prepare an audit report every year, discussions on the annual budget for the next fiscal, and a process to fix responsibility of officials responsible for doling out favours to allottees will also be taken up at the board meeting.
Officials in the Noida Authority’s group housing section said the Sports City logjam will be discussed with the top authorities. “But at present, we do not have any announcement to make on the issue. Without directions from the state government, it is going to be difficult to sort out the complexities,” the officer added.
The CAG was particularly critical of the Sports City initiative, where sub-division of plots led to four large land parcels originally allotted for the initiative to four consortiums being splintered into 81 smaller plots, which threw the scheme into disarray. Noida had sanctioned 46,000 flats in the sports cities – planned primarily in sectors 79 and 150 with some land parcels in sectors 78 and 152 – of which only around 8,000-10,000 have been completed. But the logjam over dues and licence conditions means registries are stuck.
Among other important points on the agenda of the next board meeting are a budget for the second stage of the Noida International Airport and a proposal to amend the government order for developing Noida’s satellite city. The state government had in January last year notified 80 villages in Bulandshahr and Dadri to be brought under the control of Noida Authority. Among these, five villages are located at a distance from the other ones while the names of 11 villages in the region do not figure in the government order.
The proposal will be to incorporate these 11 villages and keep the five further away out of the satellite city plan. Sources said the board meeting is expected to take place before January 15 next year.