Excess land acquired for Yamuna Expressway project, finds probehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/city-others/excess-land-acquired-for-yamuna-expressway-project-finds-probe-5207285/

Excess land acquired for Yamuna Expressway project, finds probe

Only eight hectares of the acquired land was used for construction of ramps, the investigation, on the alleged Rs 126-crore land scam conducted by YEIDA, has found.

Excess land acquired for Yamuna Expressway project, finds probe
Scattered plots of land were acquired from around seven villages, the investigation found. Archive

For construction of “exit and entry ramps” on the Yamuna Expressway, the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) had acquired nearly 58 hectares of land, allegedly at inflated rates over a course of 17 months between December 2013 and May 2015. Only eight hectares of the acquired land was used for construction of ramps, the investigation, on the alleged Rs 126-crore land scam conducted by YEIDA, has found.

“Scattered plots of land were acquired from around seven villages. Apart from eight of the 50 hectares, rest of the land is located far from the ramps on the Expressway. In two villages, for instance, single plots of land were bought by the Authority. It is not continuous plots of land; they are divided into smaller plots, far away from each other. While there was a plan to construct exit and entry ramps on the Yamuna Expressway, just eight hectares was required for that project. There was no plan for which the remaining 50 hectares was taken. It is still lying unused,” said a senior government official.

Last week, following an inquiry report submitted by YEIDA officials to YEIDA chairperson and Meerut commissioner Prabhat Kumar, an FIR was registered at Kasna police station in Greater Noida. In the last three days since the FIR was lodged, police teams have raided the residence and offices of the 21 accused, along with the Jaypee Greens villa of former YEIDA CEO P C Gupta.

On Wednesday, lookout notices were issued against 21 persons, including Gupta, who is suspected to have fled the country fearing arrest, for their alleged involvement in the Rs 126.42 crore land acquisition scam, police said. Along with charges of cheating, corruption and forgery, the accused were also booked under sections of the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act.

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The YEIDA report states that Gupta and other officials with their family members, associates and dealers “conspired to cause a huge financial loss to YEIDA through purchase of questionable land which was not needed or required for any use”. It added: “The 57.1549 hectares of land is still lying unused and in the foreseeable future, it is not of any use.”

Gupta was YEIDA CEO from April 2013 to June 2015, before which he served as additional CEO and deputy CEO at Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority, officials said.