Housing Board Flip Flops on Decision to Allot Land to Ansal Housing

By Vipin Agnihotri It has come into the notice of The India Street that the UP Housing and Development Board (UPHADB) has decided to acquire the 1765 acres of land it had earlier left in favor of the proposed hitech township being developed by the Ansals on the Sultanpur Road, Lucknow. Likewise, the housing giant also decided to acquire 12.48 acres of land of an engineering college reportedly owned by a senior politician. The proposals were passed at a meeting of the board members of the UPHADB. In all, the Housing Board has taken a decision to acquire 2561.0 acres for launching its new hosing schemes in Lucknow. Besides, the hi-tech city and engineering college land, the land acquisition proposal also includes 547.39 and 377.22 acres earmarked as green and danger belt respectively in the Lucknow master plan. Not so long ago, the UP government had revoked Ansals license for developing a hi-tech city on Sultanpur road. There was confusion after the real estate developer issued a denial stating that it had not received any official information from the state government in this regard. In this backdrop, UPHADB move confirms the government’s stand on the hi-tech township issue. It is worthwhile pointing that the government flip-flop on the hi-tech city issue has its roots in the initial proposal sent by the housing board to the state government for acquisition of 4085.43 acres for its Sultanpur Road land development and Grih Sthan housing scheme. If experts are to be believed, a notification for the said land was issued under section 28 of the Land Acquisition Act. The controversy was sparked off after the Ansals laid claim to the 1765 acres for their hi-tech township project. The developer wanted the UPHADB to leave the notified 1765 acres land in its favor. The then housing commissioner VN Garg refused to budge maintaining that the notified land under section 28 cannot be de-acquired. He was shifted in 2003. On December 30, 2005, the State Government issued a government order stating that despite invocation of section 28 of the Land Acquisition Act, a land can still be left out. The UPHADB was asked by the government to submit a fresh proposal for acquisition of land commensurate with its capacity to develop the project. The Board readily compiled and slashed its acquisition proposal.

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