Saturday, May 05, 2007

Grabbers in KHAKHI

The National Capital Region is witnessing a never-before real estate boom with demands rising and property prices soaring. Among the four satellite towns of Delhi – Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurgaon – it’s Noida that’s the latest hot property buzzing on the real estate radar.

The strategically-located city has become the biggest revenue generator for Uttar Pradesh and its land is a prized possession.

In November 2005, the Noida authority put up 1,250 plots for allotment for public. But a CNN-IBN-Cobrapost investigation digs up dirt in the land allotment process in Noida and reveals how the land meant for public has made some of city’s top police officials perhaps the biggest landowners.

This plot allotment scheme was meant for 625 people in the general category and another 625 in the reserved category that includes farmers, commercial entrepreneurs and employees of Noida authority.

However, as the investigation reveals, there are several influential names – mostly police officials – that have eaten into the share.

Former SSP Noida Piyush Mordia - suspended recently in the Nithari murders case - is the first big name to figure in the list. His wife Tanu is the allotee

Former Superintendent of Police (Noida) and now SP Bulandshahar, Piyush Srivastava also figures in the list. However, when contacted Srivastava was not available for comment.

IPS officer Atul Singh, known for his affinity to the political circle, also gets lucky. While he evaded the camera his father R P Singh did the talking. “We did not get the allotment letter. I have not even seen the letter on the internet,” Singh said.

Another police official in the list is Circle Officer Sevak Ram Yadav, also suspended in the Nithari case. Yadav has had land allotted to his two sons and a daughter. Like Atul Singh, Yadav too was not available for comment and the wife claimed ignorance. “He is not there and I do not have his number,” she told CNN-IBN.

Retired IPS officer Vijay Shankar Mathur - who came under the media glare-post his resignation from the Express Highway committee – also figures along with the abovementioned. However, he shrugged the incident off as a “mere coincidence”.

“It was my wife who was allotted, it got cancelled then she submitted the draft like a general applicant. As a police officer I will go only by the evidence. This (list) is crap (sic),” he said.
With the high and mighty - even tainted officials – gobbling up the common man’s share and in the light of the recent revelations by Union Minister Kapil Sibal, the issue is likely to snowball into a big controversy.


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