Away from the glass and steel spires of Gurgaon, a vast, dusty and virtually barren tract of land is at the centre of a row that threatens to derail not only the flourishing real estate sector, but also seal the fate of thousands of residential flats.
The Supreme Court has ordered the Haryana government and the Gurgaon collector to disclose each and every sale deed executed between landowners and private builders in respect of 1,400 acres of land in Gurgaon.
Construction has begun in some projects, but vast expanses of the land lie vacant. But this 1,400-acre land — stretching between Sectors 58-63 and Sectors 65-67 that is currently being developed for urban residential and commercial purposes — is no stranger to controversy.
Property dealers said the average price per square feet is Rs 2,100-2,200, which will only increase with more development due to the area’s proximity to the Gurgaon-Sohna road. Sources said the total financial investment made in the area by developers is upwards of Rs 8,000 crore with at least 15 residential projects planned to come up in the next two years.
Previously, a Punjab and Haryana High Court order had questioned the manner in which the proposed acquisition and final notification of land took place. The state government had invoked the power of eminent domain, issuing notification with a proposal to acquire 1,400 acres of land by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).
Panicking, many sold their land to private builders for peanuts. But HUDA eventually acquired only 87 acres, while the land proposed for acquisition was released in favour of developers and individuals by HUDA.
Officials said IREO is the key player in Sector-58, where most of the land acquired by the company is in Ghatta-Behrampur village area. After the High Court order, IREO had issued a statement clarifying that, “the entire land bank in Gurgaon being developed by IREO has not been transferred/sold by the government to Ireo or acquired for Ireo under the government acquisition proceedings. The land for all our projects… was procured privately and is not affected by the said judgment”.
Property dealers added that the land acquisition had first started in these sectors as early as 2004 and was completed by 2006. “After 2006, there were still many villagers who did not want to give away their land. But then HUDA applied Section-4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894, which forced all the others to give away their land. Also, many people sold land for half its price,” a property dealer in Sector-66, where MGF Emaar is planning its residential project, said.
The Supreme Court has reiterated that the collector, Gurgaon, “shall be personally responsible” for any omission or misinformation. “I have not received any court notification yet on this matter. Once I receive the orders, I would be in a better position to comment,” Collector Shekhar Vidyarthi said.
Meanwhile, developers and builders also maintained that they were yet to receive an official copy of the order or any communication from the Gurgaon district administration. “We are unaware of any such order,” Vikas of Brahma City said.