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For villagers at Wazirabad in Gurgaon, the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order to cancel the allotment of 351 acres of land to DLF Limited isn’t a complete victory. They pointed out that while the order had validated their claims of the government’s wrongdoing, the acquisition of the land itself had been upheld.
Wazirabad village is better known today as Sector-52. It is in the spotlight due to the 351 acres of land, which before its acquisition by the government had served as the village’s grazing land.
This land — due to its location on Golf Course Road and its proximity to South Delhi and Faridabad — is prime real estate, with petitioners alleging its cost to be around Rs 40,000 crore. It was transferred to DLF for Rs 1,750 crore at Rs 12,000 per sqm.
“The land was acquired by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to facilitate DLF in building their dream project. For generations, this land was used by us and it wasn’t until its price shot up that the government actually thought of us,” Om Prakash Choudhury, a resident of the village, said.
But the district administration stated that the land belonged to the Wazirabad gram panchayat.
Villagers claimed that on both occasions, the land was acquired by the government under the garb of “public purpose”. “When HUDA wanted to acquire the land, they said they would build a park. Later, we learned that a golf course and big buildings were being planned,” Jeetendra Yadav, a mechanic, said.
The district administration said though the land was initially meant to be developed for industrial infrastructure and residential purpose, it was later decided that a world-class recreation and leisure project would be set up there.