It would be difficult to imagine even a legend like Sachin Tendulkar single-handedly batting, bowling and keeping the field all by himself. Likewise, try as much as she might, singing sensation Lata Mangeshkar too would find it difficult to write the lyrics, compose, direct the music, coordinate, sing and play all the musical instruments all by herself. It is next to impossible to imagine that Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is managing the whole show all by himself.
As far as taking important decisions and deciding the policy on real estate is concerned, Hooda allegedly depends on his son-in-law Kunal Bhadoo, DLF strongman KP Singh, former Union minister Venod Sharma, entrepreneur Jawahar Goel (Dish TV, Essel Group of Companies), Kabul Chawla (promoter of BPTP), Arvind Walia (Director, Ramprastha Group), Sushil Ansal (Promoter of Ansal Group), Sameer Gehlaut (Indiabulls) as well as Anil and Gautam Bhalla of Vatika Ltd. Call it a high-power committee, think-tank or a more informal kitchen cabinet, they are the ones who allegedly decide most actions concerning the real estate sector in the State. In other words, one may say that these are the people who are allegedly helping, rather driving, Hooda to ruin Haryana.
GURGAON-MANESAR URBAN COMPLEX
|Land use||Master plan 2021 Area in hectares||Master plan 2025 Area in hectares||Master plan 2031 Area in hectares|
|Transport and communication||4,231||4,289||4,420|
|Institutional Public and semi-public use||1,630||1,775||2,035|
|Special Economic Zone||4,570||4,570|
Apart from them, IAS officers like the on-deputation 1996 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer Rajender Kumar Kataria, the son-in-law of Haryana Congress president Phool Chand Mullana, former Haryana additional advocate general and advocate Sunil Parti, hotelier Kewal Dhingra and foot soldiers like Hooda’s officer on special duty, M S Chopra, fill in the blanks.
A former Army Officer, Kushal Pal Singh, the son-in-law of DLF Group founder, is allegedly a master in the art of give and take and political arm-twisting for strategic business advantage. He knows how to subtly manage his strengths and weaknesses and gain business mileage. This is the least you can expect from a man who managed to leverage a chance meeting with Rajiv Gandhi to gain virtual monopoly in Gurgaon. At least, you can say, he was shrewd and bold enough to move in an unchartered direction. Not many would have dared to do what he did… even today he is mentally just as sharp in spotting an opportunity and going all out to grab it as if there is going to be no tomorrow.
The BPTP and DLF saga
The biggest beneficiary of the Hooda rule is none other than Business Park Town Planners Limited, also known as BPTP, promoted by Kabul Chawla, Punam (mother of Kabul Chawla) and Anjali Chawla (wife of Kabul Chawla). Incorporated under the Companies Act on August 11, 2003, BPTP has a number of companies, like Countrywide Promoters Pvt Ltd, Countrywide Home and Farms Pvt Ltd, Glitz Builders & Promoters Pvt Ltd, Foliage Construction Pvt Ltd, Five Star Promoters Pvt Ltd, Vital Construction Pvt Ltd, Native Buildcon Pvt Ltd, Green Valley Towers Pvt Ltd, Anupam Towers Pvt Ltd, Sunglow Overseas Pvt Ltd, Druzba Overseas Pvt Ltd, Business Park Promoters Pvt Ltd, Fragrance Construction Pvt Ltd, KA Promoters & Developers Pvt Ltd, Westland Developers Pvt Ltd, Poonam Promoters & Developers Pvt Ltd and Vasundra Promoters Pvt Ltd.
BPTP was an unknown and insignificant player till 2005. After Hooda became the Chief Minister, its fortunes changed, almost overnight in 2005, and the company started aggressively staking claim over prime land in and around Faridabad. In just three years, it had acquired licenses to develop 283.88 acres land at unheard of rock bottom prices—Rs. 210 per sq ft—in Faridabad. The company starting selling the first of its plots in 2006 and by 2009 it had sold approximately 5,657 residential plots, 10,685 apartments, 463 commercial plots and other commercial space.
In January 2009, when the Hooda Government permitted registration of independent floors on residential plots, BPTP took full advantage and re-aligned its business from plotted housing to independent floors. This proved to be a bestselling offer as almost all the 4,997 three bedroom units in its newly launched ‘Park Elite Floors’ were sold out in five months—between May and September 2009. Even the 2nd phase of Park Elite Floors was sold by September 30, 2009, and BPTP was able to mop up nearly Rs. 2.41 billion from the market.
Today, with licenses for close to 1,606 acre land in Faridabad and Gurgaon, Countrywide Promoters, or BPTP, is way ahead of even Ansal Properties & Infrastructure (1,360 acres), or DLF (939 acres). It is so powerful that it virtually runs a parallel government, at least as far as Faridabad and Gurgaon are concerned. No government official reportedly dares to come in its way. Some say Hooda himself is a benami owner in the company, which is currently developing 24 group housing, IT and residential projects in Faridabad and Gurgaon.
The company’s biggest strength is that the average cost of its land reserve is as low as Rs. 188 per sq ft. This allows it
to sell properties at relatively attractive prices and, in fact, is the reason behind its phenomenal success in a relatively short time-span. Such is BPTP’s clout that despite a complaint by the owner of a 14.793 acres land in Sector 106 in Gurgaon to the Haryana TCP not to issue the license till the agreed sale price was paid, the TCP department not only awarded but also renewed the licenses despite the fact that BPTP still does not have possession of the land, or has begun any construction activity.
One of the first developers to focus on Faridabad, Countrywide Promoters has the ability to identify suitable land, acquire and consolidate it. This role is played by an in-house research team of 30 personnel that gathers market data, assesses the potential of a location, and evaluates its demographic profile as well as government schemes and incentives, as applicable.
DLF holds the largest land bank of 10,255 acres (42 sq km), including 3,000 acres (12 sq km) that has been developed and 1,000 acres under development in Gurgaon. DLF Limited is the largest commercial real estate developer in India by revenue, profit, and market share. DLF is so powerful that no government in Haryana can chose to ignore it. Whatever it wants is reportedly given.
gfiles investigations reveal that all almost all proposals for grant of licenses are directly approved by the Chief Minister himself, often overruling senior officials to benefit a particular builder. Significantly, within two years of his chief ministership, on December 19, 2006, Hooda changed the policy for grant of license and change of land use with retrospective effect—from June 7, 2005. By specifically stating that “the licenses shall be granted/refused by the DTCP with prior internal concurrence of the State Government at the Minister’s Level”, this ensured that Hooda—who was the housing minister as well as Chairman TCP and HUDA—was the ultimate authority to sanction or deny a license. Even if the Director, Town Planning, wanted to grant or deny a license, he needed to get the Chief Minister’s concurrence.
This, in effect, sealed the fate of all cooperatives housing, giving a free hand to group housing societies and builders. This policy also relaxed the norms for change of land use and discontinued grant of licenses for cooperative housing societies, even in low potential zones.
Within the group, apart from son-in-law Kunal Bhadoo, Hooda depends most on the controversial Congress leader from Chandigarh, Venod Sharma, known for his troubleshooting and negotiating skills. A former Union and State minister, Sharma had to quit the Power Ministry after embarrassing public disclosures about him trying to bribe three witnesses in the Jessica Lal case, in which his son Manu Sharma was the key accused. Even though Venod Sharma, who is also related to Haryana assembly speaker Kuldeep Sharma (his daughter Aishwarya is married to Venod Sharma’s youngest son Kartikeya), seemingly remained out of the power circuit, he is one of those who challenge their luck to the limit. That is why despite being out of power, he enjoys such clout that in informal conversations he is reportedly referred to as “Mr 10 Crore” in real estate circles. The reason is fairly obvious—no big land deal is possible in the State without his direct or indirect involvement.
One of the richest politicians in the state, Sharma’s Rs. 500-crore empire consists of Piccadily Group of Industries, 4-star Piccadily Hotel in Sector 22, Blue Ice bar in Sector 17, chain of hotels, restaurants, cinema theatre, sugar mills, distilleries like Piccadily Sugar Industries, Piccadily Agro Industries, Shakti Fibres, Piccadily Holiday Resorts and Lyons Restaurant, besides a number of commercial and residential properties in Chandigarh.
He has big stakes in the liquor trade in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It is alleged that Hooda is a shareholder in Sharma’s hotels, sugar and construction business.
Son of liquor baron and one-time President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Kidarnath Sharma, Venod Sharma has a good network in the Brahmin, Aggarwal, Rajput and Punjabi communities in Haryana. Hooda has many reasons to rely on his school-time friend. As the head of the 40-member election campaign committee, Sharma’s backroom organising skills helped Hooda muster the support of 53 members in the 90-member house when the Congress had just 40 members in the last elections. Sharma always stood by him—even when Hooda was an aspiring politician from Rohtak. On his part, Hooda too lobbied to get Sharma the Ambala Assembly ticket when he was a political untouchable after the Jessica Lal murder case.
Sharma, who began his political career as general secretary of Chandigarh Congress Committee, lost no time in becoming Sanjay Gandhi’s blue-eyed boy, general secretary of All India Youth Congress under Ghulam Nabi Azad’s leadership, MLA, MP and Union minister—all within one decade. There was a time when even as a first-time MLA, he was treated as virtual No. 2 and the most resourceful State cabinet minister—more powerful than even Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan, a three-time MLA. Sharma’s youngest son Kartikeya heads Information TV Pvt Ltd, which controls News X television channel, Good Morning India Media Pvt Ltd and Aaj Samaj group of newspapers.
It is alleged that any builder who wants any new license, or any concession, from Hooda has to necessarily go through Sharma. Sharma’s own interests in real estate are taken care of through a string of companies like Onkareshwar Properties Private Limited, Mark Buildtech Properties Private Limited, Shivam Infotech Private Limited and Pegasus Developers Shikhopur Pvt Ltd. Kartikeya is on the Board of Director’s and reportedly owns 99 per cent shares in Mark Buildtech, which has business dealings with Onkareshwar Properties. The two, incidentally, are registered at the same address in Nehru Place. Sushil Gupta, one of the Directors of Onkareshwar Properties, is a close aide of Hooda; Harvinder Singh Chopra, a Director in Mark Buildtech, is also Finance Director of Piccadily Group; while Rajender Bansal, a friend of Sharma from Panchkula, is on the Board of Directors of both the companies. The other directors include Dhirender Dadwal and Tarun Bhanot, a relative of Sharma. Mark Buildtech allegedly has strong business linkages with Vatika Ltd promoted by Anil and Gautam Bhalla, who seemingly has prospered from the association. In fact, after the Haryana government granted three land licenses to Vatika group, the group’s assets skyrocketed unimaginably in three years.
|GREAT HARYANA LAND USE CONVERSION CIRCUS|
|Area Up to 30 Sq Metre||Area Over 30 Sq Metre|
|Old Rate||New Rate||Old Rate||New Rate|
|Gurgaon||Rs. 14,000||Rs. 3,000||Rs. 16,000||Rs. 3,500|
|Faridabad||Rs. 7,200||Rs. 1,500||Rs. 9,200||Rs. 2,000|
|Sonepat||Rs. 6,000||Rs. 1,000||Rs. 7,500||Rs. 1,200|
|Panipat||Rs. 6,000||Rs. 1,000||Rs. 7,500||Rs. 1,200|
|Panchkula||Rs. 7,200||Rs. 1,500||Rs. 9,200||Rs. 2,000|
If it is not Sharma, another person who can come up with miracles and has direct access to the CM is Kunal Bhadoo, the prodigal son of Vijay Laxmi Bhadoo, a senior SAD-BJP leader in Punjab. He is married to Hooda’s daughter Anjali. A Masters in International Accounting and Finance from London School of Economics and qualified Chartered Accountant from ICAEW, UK, he worked for six years in London for PwC LLP before coming back to India in 2006 to start Kunskapsskolan Eduventures India, which runs three K-12 schools in Jaipur, Karnal and Abohar. Kunal is also Director of Havelock Developers Pvt Ltd, Bhadoo Agritech at Abohar, which is into contract processing and packaging of citrus fruits and fresh vegetables, Navyug Group of Companies, Navyug Eduventures and Satellite Forging Pvt Ltd, a joint venture with the JBM Group.
It is alleged that any builder who wants any new license, or any concession, from Hooda has to necessarily go through Venod Sharma, Congress leader from Chandigarh
Top 33 Most Benefitted Builders of Hooda Regime
|S. No.||Promoters/ Builders||Land License Obtained in Acres|
|2||Ansal Properties & Infrastructure||1360|
|3||DLF New Gurgaon Home Developers||939|
|4||Intime Promoters (TDI)||867|
|5||Omaxe Housing & Developers||866|
|7||Vatika Land Base||632|
|9||Emaar MGF Land||531|
|10||IREO KSS Properties||519|
|16||Reliance Haryana SEZ||251|
|18||India Bulls Estates||222|
|19||Vipul Infrastructure Developers||216|
|23||Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure||177|
|24||Herman Fin Properties||154|
|25||Grandeur Real Estate||145|
|27||Jai Krishna Artec JV||123|
|29||Parveen Gupta, Vipin Gupta||118|
|32||Desert Moon Realtors Pvt. Ltd.||110|
He is alleged to be an unofficial member of Hooda’s kitchen cabinet along with his mother-in-law, Asha Hooda; brother-in-law Deepinder Hooda and Venod Sharma. They are virtually running a parallel government in Haryana which has a say in everything—from selection, transfer and postings of candidates to ‘interviews’ conducted by departmental committees to grant licenses to favourite builders.
As per market intelligence gathered from buyers, sellers and brokers, these days Badoo is allegedly on a buying spree in Sector 70 and 70A, just outside the Master Plan areas, along the Southern Peripheral road. According to informed sources, unwritten orders are that anyone else who tries to buy lands in this area should be discouraged. In all probability, this area will be included in another revised or extended Master Plan just before the elections. The price shoots up at least 50 times when it gets included in the Master Plan.
The arbitrary and ad-hoc manner in which decisions are taken or altered in Hooda’s tenure can be judged from just two examples: the Dwarka Expressway and the Northern Express Road
One of the features of the Master plan 2031, that has escaped the attention, is a restriction that only 20 per cent of the total area can be taken up by Group Housing Societies in a particular sector. This has opened up scope for discretionary licenses, or refusal, on the plea that the quota has been exceeded. Another feature of the Master Plan was to increase population density figures in specific zones from 250-300 people per hectare to over 1,000 people per hectare. This has opened up floodgates for manipulation by the politician-builder network. The Haryana government is also likely to come up with a new scheme of one-acre farmhouses or country homes outside the Master Plan areas in Gurgaon, Sohna and other parts of Haryana. That will be another opportunity to make a fast buck for builders/developers and brokers. Already many people have started buying huge tracts of land for the purpose. Whenever they get struck, they approach someone like Badoo, who can’t say no to favours from builders. Here are a few examples:
LEGACY OF 12 CMs & PRESIDENT’S RULE
In the last 23 years, Haryana has seen 12 CMs and one President’s Rule. Except for Chaudhary Devi Lal, Banarsi Das Gupta and Om Prakash Chautala (in the initial stages), all others favoured one or the other builder. The biggest example of political favouritism is the DLF, which is what it is today because of the patronage given by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Bhajan Lal was the Chief Minister for close to five years from January 22, 1980. He was clearly in favour of the DLF, which managed to get 40 licenses for some 1,123 acres of land, largely in Gurgaon. Such was DLF’s monopoly that Ansal Properties & Infrastructure, its nearest rival, could just manage a toe-hold with 11 licenses for 442-acre land. Apart from these two, all the seven others who managed to get licenses from Bhajan Lal were insignificant players.
As soon as Bansi Lal became the Chief Minister on July 5, 1985, the wind started blowing in the opposite direction and Ansal Properties & Infrastructure became the hot favourite, bagging the maximum licenses, followed by DLF. Another significant contribution of Bansi Lal was the limited entry of Unitech and Utility builders.
However, when Chaudhary Devi Lal became the Chief Minister on July 17, 1987, not a single license was granted to any developer. This tradition was maintained even when his son Om Prakash Chautala remained the Chief Minister from Dec 2, 1989, to May 22, 1990.
However, Dec 2, 1989—the last day of Devi Lal’s regime and first day of Om Prakash Chautala—would go down in the history of Haryana. On that single day, eight licenses were approved: DLF Universal (5) in Gurgaon Sectors 24, 25, 25A, 27, 28 and 43; Ansal (2) Gurgaon Sectors 1, 2, 3, 17 and Unitech (1) Gurgaon Sectors 30, 40, 41. It may be well worth investigating who sanctioned these licenses on a single date and why. More so, when no license was allotted two years before or two years after that date!
After Chautala, Banarsi Das Gupta was the Chief Minister from May 22, 1990, to July 12, 1990, and Chautala again from July 12, 1990, to July 17, 1990. But, no license was given in this period.
The jinx was broken when Hukam Singh, who was the Chief Minister from July 17, 1990, to March 21, 1991, issued licenses for the National Media Centre (21 acres) and to Durga Builder (127 acre).
Om Prakash Chautala became the Chief Minister again—from March 22, 1991, to April 6, 1991—and did not issue any license during his term. After this, there was President’s Rule in the State from April 6, 1991, to July 23, 1991. Again, no licenses were issued in the period.
However, in the following five years of Bhajan Lal’s Chief Ministership—July 23, 1991, to May 9, 1996—60 licenses were given. Those who benefitted included, DLF (641 acres), Ansals (258 acres), Unitech (309 acres) and others.
In the next three years—May 11, 1996, to July 23, 1999—Bansi Lal tried to match the record by sanctioning 39 projects over 793 acres of land in Gurgaon. Though Ansal was the favourite, DLF and others too were granted licenses.
In his new term, from July 24, 1999, to March 4, 2005, Om Prakash Chautala was a changed person and sanctioned 35 projects in Gurgaon over 463 acres of land.
Hooda fiddles, Haryana burns
Ever since he became Chief Minister of Haryana on March 5, 2005; Hooda has retained all the important administrative portfolios like Justice Administration, Law and Legislative, General Administration, Administrative Reforms, Home, Information, Public Relations and Personnel and Training with him. But his first love is urban development. This is clear from the manner in which he has retained all associated portfolios like Architecture, Panchayat Development, Town and Country Planning and Urban Estates and Urban Local Bodies. He is also the Chairman of the Town & Country Planning (TCP), Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC). This gives him complete control over all land deals in the State. In fact, he is referred to as ‘Haryana Overall Development Authority’.
UNLAWFUL ACTS IN HOODA ERA
Soon after coming to power, one of the first PR exercise of Hooda Government was to drastically reduce the compounding, or conversion, fee for commercial properties. This populist move was aimed at gaining the goodwill of lakhs of building bylaws violators and those running business and commercial establishments from residential premises. Such persons now just had to pay Rs. 3,500, instead of Rs. 16,000 per square yard, for regularising their buildings along 30-metre roads in Gurgaon. Likewise, those in buildings along roads up to 30 metres had to pay Rs. 3,000, against Rs. 14,000 per square yard previously. Even people in small towns like Faridabad, Panchkula, Panipat, Sonepat, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Bahadurgarh, Hissar, Rohtak, Palwal, Hodal, Rewari and Sohna were given massive concessions. For instance, in Faridabad, the charges for buildings along more than 30-metre roads, were lowered from Rs. 9,200 to Rs. 2,000 per square yard. While the official plea was that conversion charges would improve the financial position of urban local bodies, no one can deny that this was actually a reward to the violators of law.
A detailed analysis of Hooda government’s policies reveals how arbitrarily policies were drafted, modified and backdated to favour builders and individuals. For instance, a policy for release of land from acquisition (See Box) was modified within 26 days of being formulated in 2007. Once again, it was modified in 2011. Likewise, policy dated December 20, 2006, concerning group of persons, needed reconsideration within four months on April 24, 2007. Also, no explanation was offered why many of these polices needed to be backdated by over a year? A deeper probe may unearth many a skeletons in Hooda’s cupboard.
One of the first significant changes Hooda brought about on April 24, 2007, was an amendment of an existing policy laid down by his government on December 20, 2006. Interestingly, this new policy, re-defined ‘Reputed Coloniser’ as someone “who has already obtained a license under the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975, by the Haryana Town and Country Planning Department (TCP)”. This policy allowed backdoor entry to those private developers, who were applying for the first time. They were given the option to sign a collaboration agreement with a group of persons licensed by the department to qualify to be called ‘Reputed Coloniser’.
Curiously, a ticklish policy—dated March 27, 2008—decided to give one-time relaxation to private schools, whose applications were pending with the Education Department for want of recognition. The question is, how can the TCP Department provide legitimacy to private schools yet to be recognised by the Education Department? Obviously this was done as a favour.
Significantly, the policy regarding grant of license to Cooperative Housing Societies, dated September 15, 2008, states that application of only those Cooperative House Building Societies, which have any collaboration with builders/developers having financial capacity and technical expertise to develop residential colonies, will be considered for a license. This gave an unfair advantage to the builders, without whose involvement Cooperative House Building Societies cannot even apply for a license.
The manner in which HUDA did away with the upper time limit to complete the construction work, smacks of a sell-out to the builder lobby. Earlier, allottees could undertake construction on a residential or commercial plot within two years. Now, an extension of up to 13 years is possible after payment of a fee and the allottee can take 15 years (2+13 years) for construction from the date of possession. This new policy, that came into effect from April 12, 2013, is nothing but a ploy to renew the licenses of non-performing builders.
The Haryana government has also not used over Rs. 10,000-crore EDC for creation of basic amenities collected from the end-consumers through the builders in the last five years.
In 2005, when Hooda first became CM, he had 67 seats in the 90-member assembly. Every third MLA in the State was a Congressman. As a result, if a minister dared to step out of line, he was firmly told to behave. But today, with just 40 MLAs, to run the government at the mercy of independents is a big challenge. Hence, to keep the prominent politicians happy, Hooda tried to ‘gift’ HUDA residential plots to 79 present and former Haryana MPs and MLAs at Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula at a throwaway price of Rs. 28 Lakh. It’s besides the point that these plots were worth at least Rs. 1.5 crore in the open market. The beneficiaries included his son Deepender Singh Hooda besides Kumari Selja, Venod Sharma, Kiran Chaudhary, Navin Jindal, Raghuveer Kadian, Randeep Surjewala, Phool Chand Mulana, Kiran Choudhry, Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, Chander Mohan, Hansraj Bhardwaj and Shamsher Singh Surjewala. They would all have been richer by a few crore rupees, but for a last minute hurdle created by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Mahesh Grover, cancelled the arbitrary allotments and the MPs and MLAs were left high and dry.
In Rohtak, Hooda’s home district, a clique of Sharad Farms and Holdings,Sonika Properties and Uddar Gagan Properties— all three subsidiaries of theconsortium formed by Zee TV’s Essel Group, Action Group and OdeonBuilders—has acquired almost 637 acres
Similarly, the High Court quashed the “illegal release of land” to RN Prasher, IAS, a former finance commissioner and principal secretary, employed as principal adviser to CM after retirement. Describing this as a “blatant misuse of power”, the court quashed the allotment of the property worth millions just three kilometres from Sukhna Lake. “This court cannot shut its eyes to a patently illegal act committed by the State in showing favouritism to a person who had been a senior functionary in the State, “Justices MM Kumar and Rajesh Bindal observed while directing HUDA to refund the amount received from Prasher for the plot.
Despotic Hooda (March 2005-2014)
Questionable Pro-Builder Policies of Haryana Government
|Date||Name of policy||Salient initiative||Beneficiary / Analysis|
|09.06.2006||License for land pockets owned by individuals forming part of or adjoining existing licensed colonies.||The only condition is that such land locked pockets should not be more than 10% of the licensed area granted to the developer.||Land acquisition policy of Haryana Government is based on ‘sectoral development’ approach. In case a private developer, who has been granted a license to develop a project, is not able to acquire some pockets of land in between or on the fringes of the licensed area (“land locked pockets”), HUDA steps in to acquire such land locked pockets on behalf of private developer. BENEFICIARY: BPTP—was facing problem due to certain land locked pockets in Project Parklands—integrated township, so HUDA took over the land locked pockets and transferred it to them for development of the area.|
|19.12.2006||Policy for grant of license and change of land use Came into effect with retrospective effect from 7 June, 2005||After careful consideration of the matter the Governor of Haryana is pleased to convey the policy parameters relating to the grant of license and permission for change of land use as under :-
|24.04.2007||License to group of persons under Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975—for setting up of a colony —as a reputed coloniser. Policy deemed to have come into effect w.e.f. 19th May, 2004.||Amendment of policy concerning group of persons dated 20th December, 2006
1. Reputed coloniser will be the one who has already obtained a license under the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975
2. In case of collaboration agreement — a developer who is not a licensee but applying for a license for the first time full EDC, service charges and 100% bank guarantee of internal development works taken before grant of license “so as to safeguard the public interest. Those who comply with these stipulations would be termed as reputed colonizers.”
3. Allowed back door entry for private developers—without a license to sign but desiring to make an entry by signing a collaboration agreement with a group of persons
|30.5.2007||Amended area parameters for Cyber Parks/ IT Parks in residential
sectorsEffective for application received after 7th August, 2006.
|Utilisation of maximum 5% of the area of a residential sector for establishment of IT Parks/Cyber Parks||What was the need to back date by almost one year?
Ironically all the six licenses for IT City in Gurgaon over 36 acre land in sector 24,25 and 25A in Hooda’s tenure have been bagged by DLF Universal. Similarly more than 90 % of the 53 IT parks over 412 acre land are concentrated in Gurgaon. Faridabad managed 6 while Gwal Pahari —a nondescript place got one.
|30.9.2007||Policy for release of land from acquisition||Policy formed vide letter no.5/30/2007-2TCP|
|26.10.2007||Policy for release of land from acquisition||The earlier policy formed just 26 days back was superseded. Salient features of this policy were:
||It is obvious that these revised guidelines were framed to allow big commercial and religious interests to openly misuse the system.
|20-11-07||Change of Land Use for buildings that existed before declaration of Controlled Area||No additional CLU should be required where ground coverage or permissible FAR has already been achieved up to 75% of the permissible limits.|
|01-02-08||Policy for Change of Land use permission for buildings that existed before the declaration of controlled area||• All construction falling in setback before declaration of controlled area, to be retained as is, benefit of 60% ground coverage to be given.
• Applicant will not raise any construction on the subsequent floors falling in the setback area, no new construction to be allowed in setback area.
|27.03.2008||One time relaxation to private schools, whose applications are pending in Education Department for want of recognition||• Norms mentioned in Education Rules 2006 & 2007 to apply to applicants, whose applications are pending in the Education Department..
• Schools existing in the respective year to be treated as per prevalent Education Rules.
• The cases may be considered, where minimum lease period is of 20 years.
• Same parameters may apply in Urban Areas to private school whose applications are pending for recognition in the Education Department
|Please note how the town and country planning department is providing legitimacy to private schools and institutions which are yet to be recognised by the education department Could it be because the CM’s son-in-law Kunal Badoo is himself in the field of education?|
|13.05.2008||Policy regarding removal of height restriction of building for group housing colony and commercial colony||1. Removal of limit on maximum height of buildings in Group Housing and Commercial Colonies for which licenses are issued under Haryana Urban Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975
2. Town & Country Planning Department notification No. 8DP(ii)-2004/483, dated 22.12.2004 withdrawn
|Policy likely to affect 391 Group Housing society projects in Gurgaon, Bahadurgarh, Daruhera, Faridabad, Jajjar, Karnal, Palwal, Panipat Rewari, Pinjore and Sonipat covering 5451 acre and 57 commercial projects mostly in Gurgaon over 343 acre One of those who applied for 2 licenses in Com zone in Gurgaon, sector 83 was Venod Sharma—a childhood friend of Hooda who applied as Piccadily Hotels|
|30-5-2008||Radha Swami Satsang Beas Deras||Scrutiny fee of Rs. 10/- per sq metre on the entire site. In return maximum permissible ground coverage and Change of Land Use permission on vacant lands||Such a low rate —Rs. 10 per sq/ metre|
|15.09.2008||Policy regarding grant of license to Cooperative Housing Societies.||License only to those Registered Cooperative Housing Societies who collaborate with builders/ developers who have financial and technical expertise for development of residential colonies.|
|27.3.2009||Registration of independent floors for the residential plots of licensed colonies||Registration of independent floors shall be allowed in residential plots—180 sq yards or above.
• Each unit shall be designated as ‘Independent Floor and recognized as a distinct, identifiable property with a separate identification number, along with proportionate rights in the declared common areas and common facilities, rights of access, easements and other ownership rights as well as the right to use, transfer or dispose off the property in accordance with the rules.
• Owner of each ‘Independent Floor’ to be entitled to separate water supply and electricity connections subject to building regulations/ rules of Power Utilities.
|BPTP—In Jan 2009, Haryana Government permitted registration of independent floors on residential plots. BPTP took the advantage by switching over from plotted housing to independent floors and started offering three bedroom houses at nominal prices. In this manner the company was able to launch and sell 4,997 units in “Park Elite Floors’ in just 5 months. In August 2009, phase II of Park Elite Floors was raised out of payments received from 94% customers in phase I. By late 2009, BPTP had received Rs. 2.41 billion in payments.|
|29.05.2009||Policy for Low Cost/ Mass Housing Projects||85% of the dwelling units approved under such scheme shall be done through the Government of Haryana at a predetermined cost|
|20.08.2009||Policy for Low Cost/Affordable Housing Projects||1. The aim of this policy was to provide different categories of affordable housing priced at Rs. 4 lakh, Rs. 12.5 lakh, Rs. 14 lakh and Rs. 16 lakh
2. This scheme was open only for three months
|10 leading builders were licensed 200 acre land in Gurgaon to build 40,000 units. Not a single apartment has been handed over.|
|20.08.2009||Amendment in policy dated 19.12.2006, 29.5.2009 for grant of Group Housing Component as a part of plotted colony and increase in density.||Fallout of a meeting of CM Haryana with colonisers on 14 July:
• Developers seeking license for a plotted colony allowed maximum 10% area for group housing over and above existing 20% limit for group housing in a sector
• Proposal valid for only one month
|214 licenses for 13,448 acre land – for plotted colonies—highest single category of land sold in Haryana. Top beneficiaries who have cornered almost 50% of land for plotted colonies are BPTP (1375 acre), Ansal (1209), Udhar Gagan + Sonika+ Vipul (886), InTime (865), Omaxe (754), Parsavnath (646) and DLF (491 acre).|
|22.12.2009||Policy on Original Municipal Limits/ Extended MC limits|
|29.04.2010||Occupation Certificate and composition of offence where change of land use permission has expired.||• Applicant to pay scrutiny fee and differential amount if any, toward increase in the prescribed rates if any from the date of application for grant of occupation certificate.
• Applicant will also be required to pay the penalty for unauthorised occupation of the building as well as EDC at updated rates
|Change of land-use to general category group housing alone has made different builders richer by around Rs. 4,000 crore.|
|17.5.2010||Change of Land Use permission for Fuel station/ Retail Outlet, Educational institutes in Controlled Areas.||Those wanting to open educational institutes in controlled areas were required to get Genuineness Certificate from the DC before being considered for change of land use permission. DC would issue the NOC after receiving reports from various Departments. On the plea that this delay in decision making was causing harassment to public and in order to speed up the cases, the Government decided that:
• Genuineness Certificate is not required in case of Retail Outlets in the controlled areas as the DC seeks reports from different departments before issuing the final NOC.
• In case of educational institutions the DM may issue Genuineness Certificate based on his his/her assessment of the promoter and after seeking report from the Education Department or any other competent regulatory agency.
|16.06.2010||Educational Facilities in the Urban Areas/ Controlled Areas||Uniform norms for Educational Institutions in residential colonies being developed by HUDA, Colonisers and Change of land use cases in controlled areas as well as municipalities.|
|24.01.2011||Policy regarding release of land from acquisition||Release of any land on grounds other than stated under Section 48(1) under exceptionally justifiable circumstances to be recorded in writing|
|Prime Priorities Areas of Hooda government|
|1||Policies for Easy and On Demand Change of land Use – Main focus of Hooda government|
|2||Policies on land acquisition|
|3||Policies relating to group housing/ plotted colonies|
|4||Policies related to recognised and yet to be recognised educational institutes|
|5||Policies for IT Parks/Cyber Parks|
|6||Policy for Cooperative Housing Societies.|
|7||Policy for Low Cost/ Mass Housing Projects|
Incidentally, the order to allot the land was passed by Hooda. Likewise, it was Hooda who had allowed Ponty Chadha to monopolise the liquor trade in Gurgaon and Faridabad for about eight years till 2006. There was a time when Chadha used to own 130 vends in Gurgaon and 150 in Faridabad. This is when something happened between the two and, while the Haryana government changed the excise policy and system of bidding, Chadha decided to withdraw.
The arbitrary and ad-hoc manner in which decisions are taken or altered in Hooda’s tenure can be judged from the following two examples:
A disputed stretch of 4 km is holding up the Northern Peripheral Road, also known as Dwarka Expressway, connecting Dwarka with National Highway 8—an alternate link road between Delhi and Gurgaon. Though this 18 km long road was to ease the traffic on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, at the last minute powerful builders like Navin Raheja allegedly managed to get the alignment of the Dwarka Expressway changed.
Now instead of passing over empty land, over 300 houses in New Palam Vihar Colony would have to be demolished to make way for the road. How to safeguard the interests of the thousands of householders without sacrificing the commercial interest of the builders/developers, is proving to be a tricky legal issue. That is besides the interests of people of Sai Kunj, New Palam Vihar Phase-III in Gurgaon, whose land too was proposed to be acquired by Haryana government.
MODUS OPERANDI: HOW FAVOURS ARE GRANTED LEGALLY
Hat’s off to the Hooda government for mastering the misuse of change of land use (CLU) and the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Here are a few illustrative examples of what actually happens:
- People started panic sale after a government notification to acquire land about three years ago in Ullahwas. Private builders took advantage of the situation and bought land for Rs. 3-4 crore per acre. After the final notification, once it became clear that the farmers could not sell their land, the developers reduced the offered price to Rs. 2–2.5 crore. Still, the remaining farmers sold off 100-150 acres. Once the sale deeds were executed, the sold lands were “released” by the government. In this process, poor villagers lost their ancestral land but the developers became stinking rich.
- Capitalising on the fear psychosis after HUDA issued preliminary notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act—in Ullahwas, Behrampur, Kadarpur, Ghata, Badshapur and Medawas—to acquire 1,417 acres of land for Sectors 58-63, Gurgaon, private builders spread the word that the government would offer low compensation rates. This helped them corner large chunks of land at throwaway prices in June 2009.
- Refusing to be caught into the trap after HSIDC issued a notification to acquire 912 acres of land in Manesar, some smart landowners entered into agreement with private developers and applied for change of land use. Within two years of the final notification, the land acquisition process was scrapped.
- After the land acquisition notice, farmers in Jandli, Kamli, Saunda and Sarai Mehdood sold large chunks of land to Alaska Construction and Vatika Ltd. Soon after, the farmers entered into a sale deed with Rajnish Sharma, MD of Alaska Construction and Venod Sharma’s cousin. The land was then released under Section 5-A of the Land Acquisition Act.
The modus operandi to favour select builders is very simple and ‘legal’. The only condition is that an official government agency, like the HUDA or the Haryana Housing Board or HSIDC, is to be kept in the forefront. Even today, the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, enacted first in the 18th century Bengal, is one of the unusually harsh and draconian laws with lot of discretionary executive powers. Cumbersome and costly procedures make it a dreaded tool of State oppression. It provides the legal basis for acquisition of privately held land by the government for public purposes. “Public purpose” under the Act means educational, health institutions, housing, slum or rural development schemes for general public welfare.
The process begins with a preliminary notice under Section 4 of the Act for acquisition of land needed or likely to be needed for any public purpose and a notification from the district collector’s office is published in the Official Gazette and two daily newspapers.
The biggest flaw in the Act is that—even in those cases where the land is genuinely required in public interest —there is a considerable difference between the market value of the property and price offered to the landowner by the land acquisition officers. Once this notification is made, the owner is prohibited from selling his property, disposing it off or doing anything that might affect its value or compensation—without the prior permission of the collector. In rural India, where agricultural land is being passed on from one generation to another and there are multiple owners and joint families, this puts the fear of God in the mind of the landowner.
Exploiting this loophole in the law, private builders, developers and colonisers then approach farmers and landowner, offering them slightly more than what they expect from the government. Most farmers give in at this stage. However, if the landowner refuses, the government department issues a declaration under Section 6. The Deputy Commissioner, or any other competent authority, may then take possession of the land immediately, which shall thereupon vest absolutely with the government, free from all claims, whatsoever. Usually this makes the most reluctant landowners/ farmers to accept the builder’s offer. Once the deal is brokered, the new owner—the builder—approaches the TCP Department to award a license for development of land in the stipulated Master Plan area, under Section 9, and withdraw the acquisition notice.
As per law, the government is at liberty to withdraw from acquisition of land under Section 16 of the Act at any stage before the physical possession of land. So, in a smooth and legal manner, the government withdraws its acquisition notice and private developer makes his millions from the instant price escalation.
Another related issue is change of land use. This invariably requires payment of EDC and official conversion charge, besides an “unofficial convenience fee” of anywhere between Rs. 25-50 lakh per acre, for smooth, speedy and hassle-free change of land use. The change of land use seemingly has been one of the unwritten key policies of Hooda government, which has allowed conversion of 21,000-acre land from agricultural to residential, industrial or commercial over the last seven odd years.
Haryana today is not a State, but real estate. Agricultural, forest or defence, every bit of land in any corner of the State is up for sale. And the person responsible for it—Hooda —is behaving not as the Chief Minister but Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer of Haryana.
First let’s understand why Haryana is in need for such developmental over-drive? The simple answer is that Haryana envelops Delhi on three sides with well defined roads, rail, national, international airports and other infrastructure. Almost 29 National Highways, covering over 1,461 km, 2,494 km-long State Highways and South Asia’s oldest major road Grand Trunk (GT) Road pass through the State. Gurgaon is today the fastest growing and most talked-about business hub with the highest concentration of multinational corporate offices. It is soon going to have the Rs. 1,000 crore Rapid Metro Rail—India’s first wholly private (IL&FS 74 per cent equity share and DLF 26 per cent) railway project. But, while Gurgaon has so far overshadowed other areas like Faridabad, Sonepat, Panipat, and Karnal, this hierarchical imbalance is not going to last long. Even many insignificant and relatively unheard of places like Kondli, Manesar, Rewari, Hissar, Palwal, Bhiwani, Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar and Bawal are queuing up to break the economic glass ceiling. The effect of all this is a feverish pitch to acquire land and identify new areas for infrastructure development to meet the needs of the growing population for luxury, economy and low-cost housing, commercial and entertainment centres, public utilities, parks, and other urban civic facilities.The biggest blockbuster, of course, is the 1,483 km-long Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)—a mega US$90 billion infrastructure project connecting Delhi and Mumbai—being built with financial and technical aid from Japan. The highlights of this project include a Golden Quadrilateral National Highway and a Multi-modal High Axle Load Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) running parallel to each other between Delhi and Mumbai. Starting from Dadri, in Delhi NCR, these would pass through six States—Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and terminate at Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Over 60 per cent area of Haryana is directly or indirectly influenced by DMIC. Several top-of-the-line industrial estates, clusters, industrial hubs and investment regions, like Sonipat-Kundli and Manesar-Bawal, are being developed along this corridor with the help of grants and loans from Indian and Japanese governments as well as investments by Japanese and Indian firms. The project area of this ambitious DMIC project extends up to 150 km on both sides of the Delhi-Mumbai Dedicated Freight Corridor and opens floodgate of opportunities along NH-8, NH-2, NH-1 and NH -10 for industrial, urban and supporting infrastructure. Already Bawal has evolved as a mega industrial hub with a large numbers of multinational companies lining up to set up their manufacturing bases. Besides these, two investment regions at Manesar-Bawal-Nimarana and Kundli-Sonepat, as well as two mega industrial areas are coming up at Faridabad-Palwal and Rewari-Hissar to capitalise on the locational advantages.
A 135.6 km-long Western Peripheral Expressway, or Kundli-Mansear-Palwal (KMP) Expressway, is going to connect Kundli, Sonipat, Manesar, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Palwal. It will cross NH-1 near Kundli, NH-2 at Palwal, NH-8 at Manesar and NH-10 at Western Bahadurgarh. Many investors are investing in residential and commercial projects on both sides of the expressway. Since the commencement of work on the Expressway, land prices in Kundli have increased from Rs. 25 lakh per acre to Rs. 1.5 crore per acre. Almost 242.55 acre land from 14 villages has been acquired for Dwarka Expressway, also called Northern Express Road or Northern Peripheral Road, which will cut down travel time between Delhi, Gurgaon and Manesar. This is going to be the lifeline for major housing projects in Gurgaon-Manesar. Almost 26 new sectors (99 to 115 and 58 to 67) are being developed along this Expressway. Phase III of Metro rail on this route will link IGI Airport and Dwarka. Further, 12 specialised hubs—including Education City (5,000 acres), Sample Township (8,401 acres), Cyber City (470 acres), Bio-sciences City (1,370 acres), Jahangirpuri-Badli Township (14,226 acres), Fashion City (544 acres), Entertainment City (346 acres), World Trade City (650 acres), Dry Port City (1,770 acres), Leather City (691 acres) and Leisure City (1,853 acres)—would be developed along the KMP Expressway. The Southern Peripheral Road and the Northern Peripheral Road (Dwarka Expressway) will form a ring around Gurgaon, allowing long-distance inter-city and inter-State vehicular traffic to bypass the Gurgaon Expressway (NH8).
That’s not all, also on the anvil are a Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway with the largest 32-lane toll plaza in Asia on NH8, a 8-lane flyover on Badarpur-Faridabad stretch of Mathura Road and a 4-lane highway in Yamuna Nagar and Panchkula—connecting Haryana to Chandigarh (without entering Punjab). Haryana already has Metro Rail connecting Gurgaon, Faridabad and Bahadurgarh to different parts of Delhi. Many universities and colleges are coming up in Khanpur, Murthal, Karnal, Mewar and Faridabad. A women’s university and Rajiv Gandhi University—on the pattern of Oxford University in Sonipat—a central university in Mahendragarh, Lala Lajpat Rai University of Animal Sciences in Hissar and the first defense university in Gurgaon should transform Haryana into an international commercial and educational hub in the next 5-7 years. Half of Haryana’s over 20,412 sq kmform part of NCR India’s largest and world’s second-largest agglomeration with a population of 22,157,000. Haryana also takes pride in the fact that large part of its area is covered under the NCR, for which NCRPB is providing soft loans up to 75 per cent of the project cost.
Prima facie it may seem that Hooda stole a march over Sheila Dikshit who used to say that people from neighboring States could come, work and use Delhi’s infrastructure. Hooda’s logic makes better sense from the point of view of NCR—to develop Haryana as a sub-region so that people from nearby areas do not have to migrate or travel to Delhi and the influx of Delhi’s floating population is arrested.But, Hooda has ended up causing more harm than good to Haryana. In the speed to ‘market’ Haryana and develop it, he has ended up widening the gap between the rich and the poor and ignored the real needs of people. Haryana needs development, but not at the cost of its citizens.
How many farmers in Haryana, or their children, are going to benefit from the integrated investment regions, mega industrial areas, malls, multiplexes, IT cities, educational, entertainment, world trade and fashion hubs being set up on the land of their forefathers? Some of them have suddenly found tonnes of money in their pockets, but without the means to spend it wisely. In most cases, the price of all this will have to be paid in terms of depression, suicides, family disputes, drunken brawls, oppression of widows, exploitation of weaker sections and social tensions over distribution of the compensation amount. Likewise, how many of the literate farming youngsters would suddenly land up with smart, sophisticated white collar jobs in IT, multinational and mega-million dollar corporate giants? A bulk of the vacancies in such companies will be filled by highly technical foreigners, NRIs and highly qualified public school-educated Indians and the poor citizens of Haryan might be deemed fit only to serve as low-paid security guards, peons, drivers or conductors in DTC and Haryana Roadways buses, or low-level constables in Delhi and Haryana Police. Is this is what’s called development, progress and prosperity? Who wins if Haryana and Haryanvis lose?
Northern Express Road:
About 618.5 acres were acquired from Pawala Khasroorpur, Chauma and Kherki Dhaula villages for construction of a 150-metre wide and 25 kilometre-long Northern Express Road. This was expected to cost Rs. 120 crore and reduce the travel time between Delhi and Gurgaon, but nothing has been done because of protracted litigations. Fifteen kilometres of this road passes through suburban Gurgaon and 10 km through Delhi. As things stand today, while HUDA has acquired the land, it cannot take possession because of a restraint order by the Punjab and Haryana High Court till the final order. In the first place, there was no need for the road to pass through residential areas. Secondly, the original path was allegedly altered in the Master Plan after it was discovered that it might otherwise run through a commercial plot.
How Uddar Gagan Properties got absolute monopoly in Rohtak
|Licenses||Area||Land Licenses in Hooda Regime since 2005|
|Jop International Ltd.||RGH||6.09|
|One Point Realty||Plotted||59.66|
|One Point Realty||Addl. Plotted||13.44|
|Sharad farms and holdings||GH||14.81||636.75 Acre||66.5 %|
|Uddar Gagan Properties Pvt. Ltd.||PLOTTED||92.73|
|Uddar Gagan Properties Pvt. Ltd.||PLOTTED||15.8|
|Uddar Gagan Properties Pvt. Ltd.||Addl. Plotted||32.45|
|Uddar Gagan Properties & Others||Plotted||60.43|
|Uddar Gagan Properties & Others||Plotted||51.89|
CRY IN THE WILDERNESS FEEBLE VOICES
one can’t but feel sorry for Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is wearing a crown of thorns. At any given day, he has more enemies within the Congress than outside. What is worse, most of his one-time friends, supporters and cabinet colleagues are among his sworn enemies. The list of such friends-turned-foes includes four-time MLA and heavyweight former State cabinet minister Kiran Choudhry and her daughter Shruti Choudhry, the Lok Sabha MP from Bhiwani-Mahendragarh. Kiran Choudhry’s father, late Choudhry Surender Singh, was two-time MP and Haryana Agriculture Minister, and her grandfather, Bansi Lal, was the Chief Minister of Haryana.
Likewise, former PWD Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala, former Finance Minister Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, his son Chiranjeev Rao, who heads the Haryana Youth Congress, Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh, former Union Minister Kumari Selja, AICC general secretary Birender Singh and Rajya Sabha MP Ishwar Singh are all friends-turned-foes. Many senior Congress leaders, like Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Kumari Selja, Rao Inderjit Singh and Birender Singh, have gone to the extent of accusing Hooda of a development bias and favouritism towards members of a particular caste in government jobs. The Chairman of Haryana Staff Selection Commission and a close relative of Chief Minister Hooda allegedly played a key role in most of these appointments. Significantly two arch rivals—Capt Yadav and Rao Inderjeet Singh—shed their differences and joined hands to support the demand of 51 Ahirwal-dominated villages of Rewari District whose 455 acres of land was sought to be acquired by HUDA to develop two residential sectors.
Most builder friendly CM
Hooda should go down in history as the most builder friendly Chief Minister. His is one of the most corrupt, pro-builder and anti-farmer Chief Minister Haryana has seen in the last couple of decades. Political pundits allege that big builders, corporate houses and industrialists run the government; he is just a proxy—a rubber stamp. An example of how prominent builders manage to bend policy matters is seen in the meeting chaired by Hooda with representatives of DLF, Unitech, BPTP, Ansals, Vatika Ltd, Suncity Projects, Emaar MGF, Bestech Ltd, Raheja Developers, TDI and Omaxe in May 2009. Assembly elections were round the corner and the government wanted the developers to announce populist low-cost housing schemes.
So, at the behest of Vatika Ltd, Hooda announced a “one-time relaxation” for all those builders who applied for Group Housing Colony as part of their plotted colony by the next day and were prepared to reserve 10 per cent area for low-cost housing. In fine print it meant that a builder who agreed to do so would get to build four additional large flats per acre. In one instance, the government even announced 40,000 affordable homes for Rs. 12.5-Rs. 16 lakh each. About 10 top-notch builders were given licenses for 200 acres of land in Gurgaon. But till date, not a single apartment is nearing completion. An irrefutable fact is that no one wants to build low-cost housing projects for the poor. The builders keep exploiting the sentiments behind it to get favours for themselves, but do not actually take such projects seriously.
Another example of behind-the-scene administrative support is how HUDA first earmarked one million sq. ft land for open auction in Gurgaon’s Sector 29, but kept unnecessarily delaying the auction to give the builders a chance to sell their properties at high rates.
A cruel joke, however, is how the new Gurgaon Master Plan tries to pack all economically weaker and low-income groups—expected to be around 42 lakh plus in 2031—on just 50 hectares of land in Sector 68. This means confining them into unhygienic and insanitary ghettoes having population density of more than 1,125 people per hectare.
Questions for Hooda
- Has Haryana government ever investigated the antecedents and credentials of the companies before they were allowed to acquire land in Haryana and engage in colonisation, buildings and consolidations of land?
- Has any one, including the income-tax department, ever enquired the source of funds flowing into these companies, as also the fact whether their net worth matches to that of the value of land they own, or have acquired?
- Has the Haryana government checked the antecedents of the Chairman/ Managing Director/ Directors of the companies engaged in land acquisition and colonisation?
- Has the Haryana government, or any relevant agency, investigated the changing shareholding pattern of the companies that have acquired huge land in Haryana? It is suspected that by changing the shareholding pattern — by selling a big stake –these companies transfer the land in the guise of transferring the share, due to which the government has suffered huge revenue losses.
- Has any concrete action been taken by the Land Revenue Department to assess and recover the said losses?
- Has the Haryana government asked for compliance reports from builders, colonisers and land consolidators regarding the completion of the projects, as claimed by them in the newspapers?
- How many builders and colonisers have been fined by the government on the issue of non-compliance?
- Has the Haryana government investigated why builders, colonisers and land consolidators are charging extra amount on flimsy grounds from customers due to the delays in the project, whereas the customer is not responsible for any delay.
- Has the Haryana government developed any mechanism to address and rescue the customers from the clutches of builder’s mafia for non-compliance of the terms and contracts of the buyer-seller agreement and delay of the project?
- How many of cases have been filed against various builders in various courts, including the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and what are the issues these cases raise?
- How almost 1,684 sq km forest area in the State has become barren?
- What was the rationale behind Chief Minister Hooda holding all departments related to land and urban development with himself? Was there no competent MLA in entire Haryana Assembly or was it to control land deals?
- It is alleged that as the Chief Minister you are responsible for conversion of vast stretches (approximately 3,500 sq km) of fertile and cultivable land into jungles of concrete. Your comment.
- Why did you change the existing policy on April 24, 2007, to redefine the term “reputed coloniser”? Was it done with the ulterior motive to pave the way for backdoor entry of certain developers of your choice?
- Why did you give one-time relaxation to private schools run by your coterie through Town and Country Planning Department on March 27, 2008, despite their applications being pending with education department for want of recognition? Was it done to accommodate your son-in-law, who is in the business of education and has ambitious plans in this sector?
- Is it true that your policy dated September 15, 2008, regarding grant of licences to only those cooperative housing societies who enter into collaboration with reputed builders with certain financial qualification, was allegedly created to benefit the builders of your choice?
- Why Hooda gave an extended time limit to builders to construct the project upto 15 years, by passing and earlier limit of two years from date of possession. It is alias that it was done and the order was issued to favor the group of builders of Hooda’s choice?
- Is it true that your government has not yet utilised the amount of approximately ₹10,000 crore collected towards External Development Charges (EDC) from the end consumers through the builders in the last five years for creation of basic amenities?
- Why did you gift HUDA residential plots to present and former Haryana MPs and MLAs at Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, at throwaway prices of ₹28 lakh each when the worth of the those plots was at least ₹1.5 crore each in the open market?
- Is it true that the beneficiaries in the above largesse included your son Deepender Singh Hooda, besides Kumari Shelja, Venod Sharma, Kiran Chaudhary, Navin Jindal, Raghuveer Kadian, Randeep Surjewala, Phool Chand Mulana, Kiran Chaudhary, Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, Chander Mohan, Hansraj Bhardwaj and Shamsher Singh Surjewala and select officers of your choice?
- Why was the direction of Dwarka Expressway changed? Was it done to safeguard the commercial interest of some of your favoured builders/developers at the cost of hundreds of residents of Palam Vihar area in Haryana?
- Why did you change the original path of Northern Express Road? It is alleged that it was sanctioned to please some of your favourite builders and developers?
- Why did you shift the powers of the DTCP to grant or refuse the licences to the office of the minister in-charge, which happens to be the Chief Minister? Don’t you agree that this was done to directly give massive benefits to builders like BPTP?
- Why the State defined’ Reputed Builder’ to those allotted the first and the single licence under HUDA 1975 Act? Is it true that you favoured prominent builders — like, DLF,
- Unitech, BPTP, Ansals, Vatika Ltd, Suncity Projects, Emaar MGF, Bestech Ltd, Raheja Developers, TDI and Omaxe — in May 2009 by one-time relaxation under the garb of reserving 10 per cent area for low-cost housing in their group housing colonies, which allegedly no builder complied with?
- Why no action has been taken against the said defaulting builders?
- Why did you bring in the policy of removal of height restrictions for group housing and commercial projects? This order allegedly doled out benefits/favours to 391 group housing societies and 57 commercial projects.
- What was the rationale behind increasing the per hectare population density in Haryana?
- You have allegedly created three Master Plans which will create concrete jungles without providing the provisions of water, electricity, sewerage, etc. Your comment?
- As per the norms, one plan is implemented in full and only than another plan is envisaged. You have stated that you will implement the Master Plan of 2031. Who has given you this mandate as your mandate is only till 2014? Are you so sure of retaining power for another two decades?
- Why have you created a virtual monopoly of builders in different parts of the State? Like in Rohtak, where different subsidiaries of Sonica builders control 66.5 per cent of the total land licences allotted in your regime. The same story is there in every district of Haryana.
- Why no action is being taken against the shell companies and subsidiaries of various builders which are out to bypass the land holding laws in the State and also avoid registry charges on transfer of ownership of immovable property?
- It is alleged that you and the State machinery have helped BPTP suddenly become the biggest and richest company in the State, with their business taking a quantum jump after you became CM. Your comment.
- Why did you reduce the compounding and conversion fees for commercial properties? It is alleged that the decision was meant to benefit the select violators of building by-laws, who have also cheated the State exchequer.
- It is alleged that the proposed changes in the Master Plan were leaked to favoured builders like Ramprastha, BPTP, etc., who took advantage of such information and purchased huge stretches of land in the very sectors, hence benefitting to the tune of thousands of crores.
- It is alleged that the Haryana government is run by de-fecto Chief Ministers like Venod Sharma, Kunal Bhadoo, Arvind Walia, Anil Sharma, Sameer Gehlaut, KP Singh and Kabul Chawla. What made you allow these extra constitutional authorities to act on your behalf?
In his two stints over the last seven years, Hooda has broken all records of the past 23 years and granted over 1,000 licenses to builders to develop all kinds of plots, group housing societies, commercial plots, IT Parks, IT Cities and low-cost housing projects. While 12 of his predecessors managed to grant licenses for just 8,550.32 acres, Hooda has granted licenses for 21,447 acres. A majority of these licenses and bulk of the land in the last seven-and-a-half years of Hooda rule have been cornered by a clique of just 33 builders. These include Countrywide Promoters, Ansal Properties & Infrastructure, DLF, New Gurgaon Home Developers, Intime Promoters (TDI), Omaxe Housing & Developers, Unitech, Vatika Land Base, Parsavnath Developers, Emaar MGF Land, IREO KSS Properties, Sonika, Chintals India, AN Buildwell, Bestech India, Uddar Gagan, Reliance Haryana SEZ, Rangoli Projects, India Bulls Estates, Vipul Infrastructure Developers, Dwarkadhis Buildwell, Raheja Developers, Ramprastha Buildwell, Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure, Herman Fin Properties, Grandeur Real Estate, Uppal Housing, Jai Krishna Artec JV, Mapsco Buildwell, Parveen Gupta, Vipin Gupta, ERA Infrastructure, Martial Buildcon, Desert Moon Realtors Pvt Ltd and Orris Infrastructure. Each of them can be said to be a direct beneficiary of the Hooda’s benevolence in the sense that they have not only have managed to get large banks of 100 acres, but in a cool, calculated manner have been given virtual monopoly in different parts of the State.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has been ruling the State with the help of his trusted officers for the last nine years. Hooda appointed ML Tayal, a 1976 batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, as his first Principal Secretary in March 2005. Tayal, who hails from Hissar, was his college friend and both had good rapport. A keen golfer, Tayal was known as a frank and blunt officer. It is reported that Tayal was brought in because he had the experience of Town and Country Planning. Sources disclosed that Chhattar Singh, a 1980 batch IAS officer, who was already working as Additional Principal Secretary was brought in as Principal Secretary at the recommendation of Tayal when the latter’s term was over.
Hooda has looked after the interests of both the officers, given the long association and being privy to Hooda’s secrets, by respectably rehabilitating them. Tayal is the member of Competition Commission of India and Chhattar Singh is a Member of the Union Public Service Commission. Sudeep Singh Dhillon, a senior IAS officer of 1984, was appointed as the new Principal Secretary on August 30, 2013. Dhillion, an upright officer, has varied experience of administration. He has also worked as Vice-Chairman of HUDA.The second most important officer is a 1985 batch officer, Dr Krishan Kumar Khandelwal. As Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, he looks after media and public relations.Due to his innovative ideas and media management, Hooda won a good number of seats in the last assembly elections. Ironically, Dhillon and Khandelwal are at loggerheads but both are loyal to the Chief Minister.It is reported that apart from these two important functionaries of the Haryana Government, TC Gupta, Director General and Special Secretary, Town and Country Planning and Urban Estates Departments, 1987-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre is eyes and ears of Hooda regarding land-related matters.
Dwarka Expressway : Neither express nor way—just a speculators’ den
The Dwarka Expressway is a builder’s paradise and customer’s nightmare. Bhupinder Singh Hooda must have been a dreamer in his life and must have been a good sketchmaster, believing in creating castles, towns, casinos on paper. The moment he got an opportunity to turn his visions into reality, he used the Haryana Development Authority’s map and drew a straight line bordering Gurgaon, which is now called the Dwarka-Gurgaon Expressway. It is a dreamland and goldmine for builders. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the growth rate of India is 3.2 per cent. The inference of this is that there is no major industrial activity happening in India.
So, one needs a place where the resources can be placed for profit. Hooda has facilitated all the speculators and provided them with their playground—the Dwarka-Gurgaon Expressway. As per real estate experts, the expressway is a gold mine worth Rs. 2 lakh crore. It is definitely not just a connecting road from Dwarka to Gurgaon—but much more. There is not a single small or big builder who is not present there. Their colourful hoardings indicate the boundary walls of their money spinning mill, acres of what was once flourishing farmland.
gfiles team travelled to the expressway to ascertain first-hand what is happening on the ground. It takes almost an hour to locate the expressway as nobody except the builders knows the exact location. One starts off from Palam Vihar’s 10-feet street, or the chaotic Old Bus Stand of Gurgaon, approaching a 20-feet road further and then going zig-zag through the village. Then you see a bizarre scene, the actual sketch drawn by Hooda on the ground – his dreamland. Nobody knows where the expressway connects or what it connects. The moment you reach the expressway and travel from one end to another, it is not a smooth journey at all. The obstacles are many – varying from open nalas, blockades, a temple and even houses. Or, suddenly the road just disappears. One has to go through a twisting kachha track to reconnect with the road. The only roads which seem to be of some calibre are the ones leading to builder plots.
The builders have started basic construction, just to advertise in newspapers that actual site construction is going on. This is to collect huge amounts of money from unsuspecting and honest customers, who are sitting miles away visualising designer houses at sites which are just fields and mud. The gfiles team visited one of the builders to see his model villa. It was truly a dream house. The price tag: Rs. 4.5 crore, but without water, electricity, road, hospital, schools, etc.
The builders are there in full strength. When the expressway will see the light of day, nobody knows. But the villages and their acquired lands are already reduced to slums, turning the lives of the people there upside down.
Hooda is the uncrowned king of Rohtak, which is often referred to as Haryana’s political capital. In Jat dominated Rohtak, Hooda’s home district and political constituency, a clique of Sharad Farms and Holdings, Sonika Properties and Uddar Gagan Properties—all three subsidiaries of the consortium formed by Zee TV’s Essel Group, Action Group and Odeon Builders—has acquired almost 636.75 acres of land. This gives them a virtual monopoly in the market with 66.5 per cent land licenses in the district since the day Hooda became CM in 2005. Similarly, in Panipat, Ansal Properties & Infrastructure has bagged 346 acre land and 25 per cent of all licenses. The same story is repeated in Sonipat where Intime Promoters has managed to get 887 acres of land and overall 29 per cent of all licenses. Ansal Properties & Infrastructure holds 75.6 per cent, i.e., 167.34 out of 221.24 acres licensed in Yamuna Nagar-Jagadhari and 125 acre, that is 33 per cent land licensed in Kurukshetra. Omaxe Construction commands Palwal market with 35.6 per cent land, while Baderwals Infraprojects, VPN Real Estate and Choice Real Estate Developers have complete monopoly with 100 per cent land licenses in Mahendergarh, Sirsa and Bawal, respectively. Countrywide Promoters is the undisputed king of Faridabad with 1,282 acre of the 2,402 acre land sold—53.4 per cent of all the licenses. Gurgaon is a different ball game. Though Ansal Properties, Anant Raj Industries, Countrywide Promoters, Commander Realtors, Chintals India and Bestech India have all managed to have their own pockets of influence in the new areas, DLF Ltd has the overall edge in Gurgaon.Many of the builders use shell companies and subsidiaries for obtaining the land—circumventing the land ceiling act, done away with recently. A common practice among developers is to have a matrix of companies to conceal the actual purchase. At a later date, the subsidiary, or the shell company, is bought or sold with the land to avoid registry charges, even though this violates the law on transfer of ownership of immovable property.
Planned urban disaster
The fact that three unwanted, undesirable and untimely Master Plans 2021, 2025 and 2031 were introduced within 7 years is symbolic of a methodical and brutal exploitation of residential, commercial and industrial land under Hooda’s leadership. The hidden agenda behind these frequent changes in Master Plans was allegedly to favour few individuals and builders. Only Hooda can say what he gained; the only thing that appreciated in the process was real estate prices, that too in a few pockets of the State. In the overall context, Haryana and its citizens will continue to pay the price in the years to come.One of the first things that Hooda did after coming to power was to change the industrial policy of the State and make it favourable for real estate development. Within 15 months of taking over, Hooda released the first draft of Master Plan 2021 on July 11, 2006. Intime Promoters, Countrywide, Omax, Vipul Infrastructure, Bestech India, Parshavnath Developers, Unitech and M3M were the direct beneficiaries. They allegedly went on a buying spree at the right time and gained heavily from the price escalation after Master Plan 2021. Within next six months, Hooda notified the final Master Plan on February 5, 2007. This plan saw many land use changes from SEZ/public and semi-public/industrial use to residential use in Sectors 37C, 37D, 95, and 107 of Gurgaon. Significantly, Ramprastha Builders made a fortune buying land in these sectors. The company purchased lands in the name of its subsidiary firms Ramprastha Estates, Ramprastha Greens, Ramprastha Towers and Ramprastha Buildwell in Sectors 37D, 92, 95. According to informed sources, Hooda is allegedly one of the silent partners in Ramprastha Builders.
The State government converted 500 acres of agricultural land in Sectors 63A and 67A of Gurgaon to residential land use in the draft Master Plan 2025, released on October 4, 2010, and notified on May 24, 2011. A year later, 2,200 acres of SEZ land was converted into residential/commercial use, and parts of Sector 115 (81.57 acres)—earlier earmarked for public and semi-public use—was converted to commercial use on November 15, 2012 in the draft Master Plan 2031, released and notified on September 4, 2012. The only explanation for such unprecedented and frequent revision is lobbying by coterie of builders, developers, brokers and politicians to drastically increase the value of their cheaply acquired lands and make a fast buck. The real impact of the Gurgaon-Mansesar Master Plans is that even the price of land in relatively nondescript areas like Wazirpur and Hayatpur, acquired for Rs. 25 lakh about a decade ago, has skyrocketed to over Rs. 6-7 crore an acre.
The Gurgaon Master Plan by-passes the NCR Planning Board’s priorities and is being described as “environment-unfriendly” and damaging for the green areas and natural water bodies in the already ecologically fragile area. Many of the new areas in the Master Plan are sought to be carved out of natural water storage and drainage systems, including nullah’s and bunds. For Gurgaon, which already has acute shortage and absence of any natural source of water for the growing urban population, this has serious consequences in the long run. The main drawbacks in the Master Plans are:
- Hidden agenda seems to be expansion of real estate: Interestingly, the only thing that changes with every revision of the Master Plan (MP) is land available for residential, commercial and industrial development. For instance, residential land increases from 14,930 hectares (MP 2021) to 15,148 hectares (MP 2025) and, then, 16,010 hectares (MP 2031). Similarly, commercial land increases from 1,404 hectares (MP 2021) to 1,429 hectares (MP 2025) and 1,616 hectares (MP 2031), while industrial land decreases from 5,441 hectares (MP 2021) to 5,431 hectares (MP 2025) and 4,613 hectares (MP 2031). The ulterior motive behind the new Master Plan seems to be to allegedly benefit some close friends of Hooda. The entire process is kept so secret that only a handful of people with inside information get the advantage.
- Fault lines: The Master Plan seems to overestimate the rate of population growth to somehow justify rapid urban expansion and addition of 58 new sectors to the existing
- Just plans, no action: It makes no sense to release three Master Plans within 7 years and with so many changes between the Draft and the final Master Plan. It defies logic to talk about Master Plan 2031 when the planning goals and objectives of even 2021 and 2025 have not been met.
- Arbitrary and unfair
- You scratch my back, I will scratch yours – this is the mantra for the strong politician-bureaucrat-builder nexus in Haryana. Politicians and bureaucrats invest their surplus and ill-gotten wealth in the construction industry. The builders, in turn, reciprocate by providing funds and logistical support during the elections.
- An industrial zone, mentioned in the Gurgaon-Manesar Master Plans 2021 and 2025, is suddenly converted into agriculture zone in Master Plan 2031. That apart, its land owners are arbitrarily denied permission to get the land use changed.
- If the idea behind revision of 2025 Plan was to reallocate the land associated with the failed SEZ, what was the justification of acquisition of land in Wazirpur, Hayatpur, Mohammadpur, Gharouli Khurd, Gharouli Kalan and Harsaru for creation of new residential and commercial facilities in Sectors 36B, 37B, parts of 37D, 68, 88A, 88B, 89A, 89B, 95A, 95B and 99A.
- Though Sector 16 was reserved for public and semi-public use, it was changed to Special Zone where group housing, commercial and entertainment projects are allowed.
- Increase in population density from 250 to 625 people per hectare of Sectors (part 42), 43, 53, and 54 is another disguised attempt to keep the builders happy.
- Definitions, as well as rules and regulations for ‘entertainment’, ‘world trade’ and ‘fashion hubs’ mentioned in the Master Plan are not clear.
- The list of builders who benefitted from the frequent changes in land use also include Ashok Solomon-owned Chintel Group—having 396 acres of prime land in Sectors 104, 106, 108, 109 and 114 in Gurgaon—Vatika Group, M3M, DLF, Bestech, Pareena Group and Indiabulls Real Estate Limited. India Bulls Managing Director Narendra Gehlaut, an electrical engineer from Delhi College of Engineering and law graduate from University of Delhi, is the brother-in-law of Deepinder Hooda. Deepinder’s wife, Shweta Mirdha, is sister of Congress MP Jyoti Mirdha, who is married to Narendra Gehlaut—son of Krishna Gehlaut, a former Haryana Congress minister.
- Anil and Gautam Bhalla of Vatika Builders Ltd—having business dealings with Venod Sharma—bought 700 acres in R-Zone and turned a billionaire overnight. Similarly, Ramprastha Group is developing Ramprastha City—a group-housing project for Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO) in Sector 95, Gurgaon.
- All said and done, the worst examples of mis-governance in the Hooda’s tenure was how hundreds of acres of fertile land was forcible acquired from farmers with the help of police, to develop SEZs in the State. The result was hundred of litigations, which are pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Despite this, Sabeer Bhatia, the founder of Hotmail, decided to withdraw from the Nano city project after one year of starting it in Panchkula. Likewise, RIL’s 1,383,68 acres of aborted SEZ project at Gurgaon and 2,000 acres of Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Ambala were some of the most embarrassing moments for the Hooda government.
How Countrywide Promoters (BPTP) created a virtual monopoly in Faridabad & Gurgaon
|Licenses||Area||Land Licenses in Hooda Regime since 2005|
|Ajay Enterpriese Pvt Ltd||RGH||52.83|
|Ansal Infrastructure||COMM (RZ)||1.73|
|Bhagat Steel & Forging||IT Park||5.87|
Land licenses in Faridabad
|Countrywide Promoters||COMM (RZ)||3.81|
|Crown Buildtech||COMM (RZ)||1.14||34.48|
|Crown Infra Build||GH||18.05|
|Crown Technobuild||IT Park||8.31|
|Dove Infrastructure||IT Park||8.5|
|GE Maxi Infrastructure||COMM (RZ)||3.94|
|Hind Enterprises||IT Park||8.97|
|Jai Shakti Builders||GH||10.1|
|Larsen & turbo||IT Park||9.26|
|Mahindra Gesco Developers||GH||4.94|
|MB Malls||COMM (RZ)||3.69|
|Monnet Sugar||COMM (RZ)||1.37|
|Nehru Palace Hotels||COMM (RZ)||2.609|
|New Age Town Planners||Plotted||50.09|
|Pioneer Town Planner||Plot (IND)||50.13|
|Piyush Coloniser||COMM (RZ)||1.35|
|Piyush Coloniser||COMM (RZ)||1.58|
|Robust Buildwell||COMM (CZ)||2.0875|
|Robust Buildwell (OMAXE)||COMM (RZ)||8.571|
|RPS Infrastructure||IT Park||7.59|
|Shiv Sai Infrastructure||GH||10.4|
|Shiv Sai Infrastructure||GH||13.01|
|Shreeji Buildwell||COMM (RZ)||2.143|
|Snow Temp Engg Co||IT Park||13.01|
|Sri Sat Sahib Housing & Infrastructure||GH||2.74|
|Sri Sat Sahib Housing and Infrastructure||GH||11.39|
|SRS Real Estate||GH||15.06|
|SRS Real Estate||GH||19.72|
|SRS Real Estate||GH||19.02|
|SRS Real Estate||GH||3.33|
|SRS Real Estate||GH||2.28|
|Swatantra Land & Finance||GH||3.12|
|Swatantra Land & Finance||GH||10.93|
|Swatantra Land & Finance||GH||1.09|
|Tarang Entertainment Pvt Ltd||COMM (RZ)||2.08|
|Triveni Infrastructure Development||GH||39.68|
|Usha Spinning & Weaving Mills||GH||4.79|
|Vashistha Builders & Engineers
|Zion Promoters and Developers||GH||4.24|
|Licenses||Area||Land Licenses in Hooda Regime since 2005|
|Magic Info Solutions||GH||22.12|
|Shamrock Infrastructure||COMM (RZ)||3.231|
|Shiva Profins Private Limited||GH||11.09|
|1000 Trees Housing Pvt Ltd||RGH||13.08|
|A & D Estate||COMM (CZ)||5.75||46.18 Acre|
|A & D Estate||COMM (CZ)||12.66|
|A & D Estate||COMM (CZ)||1|
|A & D Estate||COMM (CZ)||2.04|
|A & D Estate||GH||11.42|
|A & D Estate||COMM (CZ)||1.86|
|A & D Estate||GH||11.45|
|Aakansha Infrastructure||COMM (RZ)||2.47|
|Aakarshan Estate Pvt Ltd||COMM (RZ)||2.5|
|ABW Infrastructure||GH||13.89||60.07 Acre|
|ABW Infrastructure||COMM (RZ)||3|
|ABW Infrastructure||IT Park||12.45|
|Active Promoters||COMM (RZ)||3.65|
|Active Promoters||IT Park||13.01|
|Active Promoters||COMM (CZ)||5.46|
|Active Promoters||COMM (CZ)||2.65|
|Adson Software Pvt Ltd||RGH||2.66|
|Afresh Builders||COMM (RZ)||2.94|
|Airmid Developers Ltd||COMM||5.45|
|Airmid Developers Ltd||GH||24.1|
|Airmid Developers Ltd||COMM (RZ)||1.08|
|Ajay Aggarwal Enterprises||COMM (RZ)||2|
|Ajay Aggarwal Enterprises||COMM (RZ)||2|
|ALM Infotech City||GH||13.01|
|ALM Infotech City||COMM (RZ)||3.31|
|Ambience Projects and Infrastructure||GH||14.819|
|AMD Estates & Developers (P)||COMM (RZ)||2.97|
|Anant Raj Industries||Plotted||100.262|
|Anant Raj Industries Ltd||COMM (RZ)||2.95|
|Anant Raj Industries Ltd||COMM (RZ)||2.03|
|Ananya Land Holdings||IT Park||13.55|
|Anjuman & Estates||COMM (RZ)||3.72|
|Ansal Buildwell||COMM (RZ)||2.24||178.63
|Ansal Properties & Infrastructure||Plotted||4.38|
|Ansal Properties & Infrastructure||Plotted||1|
|Ansal Properties & Infrastructure||Plotted||111.59|
|Ansal Properties & Infrastructure||Plotted||1.55|
|Ansal Properties & Infrastructure||Plotted||25.75|
|Ansal Properties & Infrastructure||COMM (CZ)||4.24|
|Ansal Properties & Infrastructure||Plot (IND)||13.01|
|Ansal Properties & Infrastructure||Plot (IND)||12.71|
|Ansal Properties and Infrastructure||Plotted||2.156|
|Anurag Sharma||COMM (RZ)||3.8125|
|Anurag Sharma||COMM (RZ)||3.8375|
|Aquarious Buildcon||IT Park||10.75|
|Arrow Infraestate||COMM (RZ)||2.03|
|Ashutosh Developers||COMM (RZ)||2.77|
|Asthetic Township Developers||COMM (RZ)||2.85|
|Atlantic Realtors||COMM (RZ)||2.03|
|Atlantic Realtors||IT Park||10.03|
|Bal Prada Info Services||COMM (RZ)||2.24|
|Balvinder Uppal||COMM (CZ)||2.98|
|Basic Developers Pvt Ltd||IT Park||9.67|
|Bestech India||GH||2.75||154.20 Acre|
|Bestech India||COMM (CZ)||2.8375|
|Bestech India||COMM (RZ)||0.075|
|Bestech India||COMM. (RZ)||3.99|
|Bestech India||COMM. (RZ)||2.18|
|Bestech India||COMM. (RZ)||2.46|
|Bestech India||IT Park||5.83|
|Bestech India||COMM (CZ)||12.34|
|Bestech India||IT Park||6.31|
|Bestech India||COMM (CZ)||8.3|
|Bestech India||COMM (RZ)||7.81|
|Bestech India||COMM (RZ)||2.85|
|Bestech India||COMM (CZ)||2.786|
|Bestech India||COMM (CZ)||4.61|
|Candea Projects||COMM (CZ)||5.568|
|Candeo Projects Pvt Ltd||COMM (CZ)||6.77|
|Celestial Estate||COMM (RZ)||3.41|
|Central Govt Emp. Welfare Housing Org||GH||14.47|
|Chintals India||COMM (RZ)||3.24|
|Chintals India||COMM (RZ)||6.21|
|Citra Properties||COMM (RZ)||5.9|
|Clarion Properties Pvt Ltd||COMM. (RZ)||3.46|
|Clarion Properties||IT Park||5.92|
|Clarion Properties||COMM (RZ)||2.76|
|Commander Realtors Pvt Ltd||COMM (RZ)||3.86|
|Commander Realtors Pvt Ltd||COMM (RZ)||2.2|
|Countrywide Promoters||GH||13.01||354.95||4.40 %|
|Countrywide Promoters||COMM (RZ)||3.68|
|Countrywide Promoters||COMM (RZ)||2.36|
|Countrywide Promoters||COMM (CZ)||4|
|Countrywide Promoters||IT Park||5.02|
|CSN Estates (P) Ltd||Addl. GH||8.88|
|CSN Estates (P) Ltd||Addl. GH||1.99|
|Deputy Gothwal Construction||GH||14|
|Desert Moon Realtech||GH||10.44|
|Desert Moon Realtors Pvt Ltd||GH||10.92|
|Dhampur Alco Chem||COMM (RZ)||3.17|
|Dharampal & others||GH||16.47|
|Dial Soft Tech||GH||10.97|
|DLF Homes Panchkula||Plotted||57.03|
|DLF Homes Panchkula||GH||10.16|
|DLF Homes Panchkula||GH||27.47|
|DLF New Gurgaon Home Developers||GH||2.794|
|DLF New Gurgaon Home Developers||GH||10.059|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||Plotted||7.006|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||RGH||25.09|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||RGH||12.15|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||10.8|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||14.35|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||10|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||COMM (RZ)||4|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||12.06|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||0.47|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||2.64|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||11.1||822.57||10.19 %|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||0.17|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||COMM (RZ)||3.46|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||13.73|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||18.31|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||10.43|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||IT Park||6.78|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||IT Park||8.36|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||COMM (RZ)||3.23|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||Plotted||100.51|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||COMM (RZ)||3.66|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||11.67|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||IT Park||6.83|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||COMM (RZ)||11.64|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers||GH||29.66|
|DLF New Gurgaon Homes Dev’s Pvt Ltd||Addl. Plotted||3.9|
|DLF Retails Developers||COMM (CZ)||25.71|
|DLF Retails Developers||COMM (RZ)||4|
|DLF Retails Developers||COMM (RZ)||8.7|
- A direction to the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, to come up with a complete report as to how far the NCRPB Act, and the policies formulated there under for the control of land-uses and development of infrastructure in the National Capital Region so as to avoid any haphazard development of that region and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto, has been complied with by the respective state governments, in the present case the Government of Haryana, being a member therein;
- A direction to the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, to inquire into and to come up with details of the environment clearances as sought and granted to those selected few even when blatant violation of environmental laws and ecological disturbances are rampant in area in question and to calculate the damage done to the ecology of the Haryana especially in some of its districts such as Gurgaon, Faridabad, etc.
- A thorough investigation into the functioning of department of Town & Country Planning and Urban Estate and the Department of Forest and other related departments to elicit the consistency of the policies followed as also to unearth the favours given to a select few at the cost of common farmers and state exchequer.
- An investigation be also ordered to be carried out by Central Bureau of Investigation, Income Tax Department, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Enforcement Directorate, Economic Offences Wing and others to unearth the ill-gotten money earned by builder mafia of Haryana, select coterie of businessmen and politicians.
- A thorough inquiry be ordered against the select band of builders, who have monopolised the construction activity at the gross disadvantage to poor home buyers and farmers whose land was acquired at unreasonably low prices.
- A direction to the National Capital Region Planning Board to formulate a clear policy of land use keeping various factors in mind such as the equity in acquisition, impact on environment, interest of buyers and those of the farmers whose land is subjected to acquisition.
- A direction for appointment of a Fast Track Court to try the cases relating to the above with a clear timeline for investigation by the CBI and the conclusion of the trial by the said court so that it will work as a deterrent for such mass scale loot of natural resources of the State endangering the ecological balance and huge and perpetual loss to the exchequer.
- Recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court has passed an order directing the Haryana Government not to issue any colony development licences, change of land use or acquire any lands until its sub-regional plan for the 11 districts falling in the National Capital Region (NCR) is approved by the NCR Planning Board. The order assumes significance because the two Master Plans for Gurgaon made by the Haryana government in quick succession had generated widespread concern among environmental experts, as they meant significant dilutions in the environmental safeguards provided for in the NCR Planning Board recommended plan. Hailing the court direction, environment analyst Chetan Agarwal said it could have some impact on the upcoming Master Plan of Mangar Bani and protect the eco-sensitive zones in the area.
- “Ideally, the sub-regional plan for the 11 districts of Haryana falling under the NCR should have been approved by the NCRPB before the master plans for Gurgaon were approved. But it did not happen and a lot of eco-sensitive and water recharge zones were lost to haphazard development planned in the two master plans. The most glaring example being the Ghata Lake which had been natural water recharge zone, but the master plan allowed residential and commercial development there. Any such direction by court earlier could have prevented the messy development. But it is better late than never.”
- Colonel (retd) S Oberoi said the court direction may not have any direct bearing on the development in the region, but is a moral victory for environmentalists. “We have always been maintaining that the sub-regional plan should have been approved before the Master Plans for Gurgaon were prepared. But it was overlooked by the board. The sub-regional plan for Gurgaon has been submitted to NCRPB just a month ago while the master plans were approved a long ago. Now there are attempts to even dilute the provisions in the NCR Regional Plan-2021 and mould them as per the sub-regional plan and master plans, though it should be other the way round.”
In keeping with the ethics of journalism, gfiles sent a questionnaire to each of parties – Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Venod Sharma, Kunal Bhadoo, Kabul Chawla, Anil Bhalla, Arvind Walia and KP Singh. Nobody bothered to reply except for Kabul Chawla, BPTP Chairman & Managing Director. His lawyers replied to the questions and the same is reproduced here. When the questionnaire was brought to his attention, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, it is learnt, he told TC Gupta, Secretary, Town and Country Planning (Haryana) that “it should be ignored… they are just trying to malign me.”
REPLY BY KABUL CHAWLA’S LAWYERS Vijay Kaundal Advocate & Solicitor, SRGR LAW OFFICES
AT the outset, it is stated that the all the allegations raised are false, frivolous, baseless and factually incorrect and your letter is completely based on presumption and assumptions. We would like to put it on record that institutional investors like JP Morgan and Citigroup Property Investors have invested in the parent company level (BPTP Limited) after conducting thorough due diligence and our Client has also done joint ventures with well known groups like Blackstone, TMW and Kotak.
Though our Client is not obligated to reply to the frivolous and baseless allegations levelled by you, our Client is still responding to your queries to dispel your doubts and misgivings. We object to such questionnaire/ scrutiny in the affairs of our Client by your organisation without any proof or evidence and it is apparent that it is being done with ulterior motives.
gfiles: Even though your company was incorporated under the Companies Act on August 11, 2003, you were an unknown and insignificant player in the market till 2005. Your company and its business actually started after March 5, 2005, when Bhupinder Singh Hooda became CM and your luck started changing. Almost overnight in 2005, your Company started aggressively buying prime land in and around Faridabad. And in just three years, it had acquired licenses to develop 283.88 acres land at unheard-of rock bottom prices of `210 per sq ft in Faridabad. The company starting selling the first of its plots in 2006 and by 2009 it had sold approximately 5,657 residential plots, 10,685 apartments, 463 commercial plots and other commercial space. Is such kind of growth possible by fair dealings and without political backing?
BPTP: Except for whatever is a matter of record and which are in public domain rest of all your facts and figures are denied. Further, your allegations regarding any political backing and support are completely false, baseless, without any substance and are defamatory in nature, and hence are specifically denied. Please note that our Client is conducting its business in accordance with law.
gfiles: It is alleged that you operate a number of subsidiary and shell companies like Countrywide Promoters Pvt Ltd, Countrywide Home and Farms Pvt Ltd, Glitz Builders & Promoters Pvt Ltd, Foliage Construction Pvt Ltd, Five Star Promoters Pvt Ltd, Vital Construction Pvt Ltd, Native Buildcon Pvt Ltd, Green Valley Towers Pvt Ltd, Anupam Towers Pvt Ltd, Sunglow Overseas Pvt Ltd, Druzba Overseas Pvt Ltd, Business Park Promoters Pvt Ltd, Fragrance Construction Pvt Ltd, KA Promoters & Developers Pvt Ltd, Westland Developers Pvt Ltd, Poonam Promoters & Developers Pvt Ltd and Vasundra Promoters Pvt Ltd. The main role of these companies allegedly is financial manipulation, land ownership and alleged illegal transfer of land from one company to another without paying registry charges, thus bypassing the provisions of transfer of the Immovable Properties Act?
BPTP: It is reiterated once again that, as per the information available in the public domain, it is evident that BPTP Group is composed of various group companies and in compliance with laws. This is to apprise you that all the entities in the said Group have been established for lawful purposes in accordance with the relevant laws. The group structure ensures synergy and realisation of ultimate vision and objectives of the management. BPTP Group has adopted and implemented the best practices in its accounting and financial reporting. The allegations are nothing but based on surmises and conjectures, and thus does not merit any consideration.
gfiles: It is common knowledge that Bhupinder Singh Hooda is one of the most pro-builder and anti-farmer Chief Ministers Haryana has seen in the last couple of decades. But, allegedly the inside story is that Hooda is just a proxy rubber stamp and builders like you are directly or indirectly allegedly dictating land development policies in the State. It is alleged that you influenced the three quick changes in the Master Plans?
BPTP: It has to be stated that allegations are baseless and are defamatory in nature. The allegations contained specifically in this query and generally in the letter, attribute your intention not only to harm the reputation of our Client but also to harm the reputation of the office of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Haryana. Moreover, since such grave allegations without any iota of proof have been maliciously levelled against our Client, our Client reserve our right to initiate appropriate civil and criminal proceedings against you under the relevant provisions of law. Hence, the allegations are specifically denied.
gfiles: It is alleged that BPTP is the biggest beneficiary of the Haryana government’s licensing policies, including the Master Plan changes. After and before each Master Plan change, you went and purchased land in those very sectors that were going to be covered in the Master Plan. How do you explain this?
BPTP: The allegations contained are false, baseless and are defamatory in nature, and hence are specifically denied.
gfiles: Here is an example of how government policy is bent in favour of certain people. It is alleged that you and other prominent builders, like DLF, Unitech, Ansals, Vatika Ltd and Suncity Projects, were present in a meeting chaired by BS Hooda in May 2009. Since the Assembly elections were round the corner, the government wanted you and others to announce populist low cost housing schemes. In the bargain, Hooda announced a ‘one-time relaxation’ for all those builders who applied for group housing colony as part of their plotted colony, and were prepared to reserve 10 per cent area for low cost housing. This meant that those builders who agreed got to build four additional large flats per acre. This is an example of how the low cost housing policy has been manipulated by the politician-builder lobby. The builders have got lands allotted in the name of low cost and affordable housing, but till date not a single apartment is near completion?
BPTP: It has to be stated that it is a matter of record that the BPTP Group has applied for licenses for low cost group housing schemes formulated by the government. Please note that such schemes have been framed in accordance with the State policies and such policies were formulated by the state government for the benefit of the poor people. Further, such schemes were available to one and all and it was not specifically designed for the benefit of our Client. It is wrong and baseless to suggest that housing policy has been manipulated by a politician builder lobby, and hence the allegations raised in your query are based on sheer surmises and conjectures and are hereby specifically denied.
gfiles: Another example of how things have been manipulated to suit BPTP’s interest is the way the Hooda Government permitted registration of independent floors on residential plots in January 2009. BPTP allegedly took full advantage and re-aligned its business from plotted housing to independent floors. Your comment?
BPTP: It is the prerogative of the State to frame the laws, rules and regulations. It is to bring to your notice that such policies framed by the Government of Haryana are for the benefit of the entire State and its people and are not framed to suit certain section of builders, as alleged in your query. Further, the same is substantiated by the fact that such policies are also available for individuals and same is the matter of record. Further, it is pertinent to bring to your knowledge that such policies are also framed by various other states, namely Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, etc. Hence, it is vehemently denied that Government of Haryana framed policies to suit our Client’s interest. Further, such allegation being defamatory in nature; our Client reserves its right to initiate appropriate civil and criminal proceedings against you under the relevant provisions of law.
gfiles: Today, with close to 1,606 acres of land in Faridabad and Gurgaon—Countrywide Promoters or BPTP—is way ahead of even Ansal Properties & Infrastructure or DLF. It is said that BPTP virtually runs a parallel government, at least as far as Faridabad and Gurgaon are concerned. No government official dares to come in its way. Your comment?
BPTP: The allegations here are specifically denied as they are nothing but based on sheer surmises and conjectures, and are baseless and defamatory in nature. This is to bring to your notice that DLF/Ansal have a nationwide presence and have developed and marketed various projects nationwide and have much wider stake in real estate market in India compared to our Client.
gfiles: Why is it that despite specific complaints of non-payment of sale price to the owner of a 15-acre land in Sector 106 in Gurgaon, the Haryana TCP renewed the license? Wasn’t it a fact that your company didn’t have possession of land and hadn’t begun any construction activity?
BPTP: It has to be stated that our Client seeks licenses, only after following due validation process and in accordance with applicable laws. Further BPTP Group is the absolute owner or has valid agreements of all the piece and parcels of land developed or proposed to be developed by BPTP Group and all prior owners of such land are paid the agreed consideration for the same and there is no dispute of any manner whatsoever with regard to the same and in many cases our Client has paid more than what was agreed for in the agreements. The allegations contained in your query are nothing but false, malafide and fabrications of true facts, and are specifically denied.
gfiles: It is alleged that Hooda himself is a benami owner of your company, which is currently developing 24 group housing, IT and residential projects in Faridabad and Gurgaon. Is this the reason why the average cost of the company’s land reserve is as low as `188 per sq ft? It is alleged that this unfair advantage is the reason behind your phenomenal success in a relatively short time span, allowing you to sell properties at attractive prices?
BPTP: The accusations here are extremely defamatory in nature and are specifically denied. Without prejudice to rights and remedies available with our Client to seek appropriate recourse against such bald frivolous allegations, please note that our Client conducts its normal course of business on an arm’s length basis and fair market terms. Further, being more specific, our Client pays the appropriate consideration to the land owner as mutually agreed and sometimes it pays even higher amount than the sum agreed in the agreement to sell between our Client and land owners. Further, such allegation being highly defamatory in nature; our Client reserves its right to initiate appropriate civil and criminal proceedings against you under the relevant provisions of law.
gfiles: Why it is that low cost housing for the poor and downtrodden is just a money minting machine for the builders who, after getting cheap land, connive with the officials to ensure that these projects remain ornamental or showpieces on paper and are never allowed to go beyond the drawing board stage?
BPTP: It is denied that our Client has indulged in connivance to thwart the development of affordable housing for the low income groups. It may please be noted that our Client is a responsible real estate group and is conscious of its commitment towards the development of affordable housing for the low income groups. The allegations raised in your Query 10 are without any basis, and hence are denied in its entirely.
gfiles: It is alleged that your company has the image of a rogue builder with no sense of ethics and morality in business? Allegedly you have one of the largest numbers of customer complaints against you for violating official policies and backtracking on commitments. Your comment?
BPTP: The allegations are baseless, false and concocted and specifically denied. Kindly note that our Client operates in a manner consistent with high ethical, moral, and legal standards.
gfiles: Is it true that the Patiala House court issued a non-bailable warrant against you and the Delhi Police registered an FIR for criminal breach of trust, cheating, fraud and criminal misappropriation based on a complaint by Suresh Goel, a Kotla-based businessman?
BPTP: Please note that the proceedings in the said proceedings has been quashed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi and presently no such case is pending against our Client or its directors and hence, does not merit any consideration.
gfiles: A number of complaints and cases of cheating, misappropriation and fraud have been lodged against you with EOW and SFIO. Is such conduct to be expected from a prominent builder like you?
BPTP: This is to apprise you that no criminal case where any charges have been framed by the court is pending against our Client and/or its promoters. The allegations contained in your query are nothing but based on surmises and conjectures, and thus does not merit any consideration.
gfiles: It is alleged that your Company, after having duped money from thousands of people, is still scot free because of its powerful political connections in Haryana and Delhi?
BPTP: The allegations are false, malafide and baseless, and are specifically denied.
gfiles: It is alleged that BPTP has one of the worst track-record of forfeiting / usurping people’s money by cancelling their plot or flat booking on one pretext or another?
BPTP: It has to be stated that allegations are nothing but baseless and frivolous and are specifically denied. Kindly note that cancellations, if only, are made in accordance with mutually agreed contractual terms and conditions, and such contractual obligations are accorded sanctity of law. Further, being more specific, such forfeitures are in accordance with law and various judicial pronouncements including that by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. Further, its completely lawful to insert such forfeiture clauses in the relevant contracts. Moreover, just to apprise you of the propriety of forfeiture clauses, kindly note that even Noida Authority has forfeited an amount of `130 crore for not fulfilling certain contractual obligations of the contract executed between our Client and Noida Authority, which goes to show that the forfeiture provisions work both ways.
gfiles: It is alleged that BPTP has been selling properties and plots even without license/ site approval from the town planning department or other land owning bodies? Does it bother you that you are playing with other people’s life savings?
BPTP: It has to be stated that our Client endeavours to comply with all the applicable laws for the development and sale of its project, including the stipulations and conditions incorporated in the licenses for various projects.
gfiles: It is alleged that your company creates an artificial and false hype in the market to lure unsuspecting customers to deposit crores of rupees—even when the number of flats booked is far above your capability to deliver. Your company then arbitrarily changes the booking and sends a demand notice asking the flat buyers to pay the difference for an alternate allotment or else assumes that they are not interested and proceeds to forfeit their booking amount?
BPTP: The allegations are nothing but false, malafide and fabrications of true facts, and are specifically denied.
gfiles: It is alleged that BPTP has deliberately kept the flat-buyer agreement and other document very complex—500 odd pages—and, as a result, neither the buyer nor the broker is aware of most of the unfavourable terms at the time of making the investment decision. Is it humanly possible to read the fine print and grasp the legal implications in a short time?
BPTP: The allegations are wrong, baseless and frivolous, and are denied. It is wrong to allege that Flat Buyer’s Agreement and other documents consist of 500 odd pages as it is nothing but fabrication of true facts. It may please be noted that all the documents, including the Flat Buyer’s Agreement are readily available to the customers for inspection, and verification of the project details, broad terms and conditions, etc.; hence there is ample time for them to make a reasoned decision.
gfiles: Why do you make the customers sign an affidavit indemnifying BPTP of any deficiency in services before signing the buyer seller agreement? What purpose does this affidavit serve when it is an unfair contract, hence illegal?
BPTP: It is denied that such affidavit and undertakings are illegal on premise of unfair contract and these documents are necessary to ensure that customer’s enjoyment of the property is in accordance with all applicable laws. We would like to bring on record that even our client also submits similar undertakings at times to HUDA/DTCP and other government departments to avail licenses and other approvals.
gfiles: When BPTP often penalises buyers who do not pay money on time, what is the corresponding penalty/compensation payable in case BPTP fails to deliver on time? Why should BPTP also not be accountable for deficiency of services?
BPTP: This is to apprise you that our Client is a responsible real estate group and always strive to abide its commitments. However, it is wrong to allege that our Client is not accountable towards its commitments. There are standard terms and conditions incorporated in the Flat Buyers’ Agreement/Booking Forms wherein, for reasons not attributable to our Client, delay penalty is payable to the customers.
gfiles: It is alleged that your company has not been depositing EDC/IDC amounts collected from buyers to HUDA/DTCP?
BPTP: The allegations are false and frivolous, and are specifically denied. This is to apprise you that our Client has so far deposited more than Rs 1,000 crore with the concerned authorities towards the EDC/IDC demands.
gfiles: It is alleged that Income Tax officials conducted a search-and-seize operation at 23 premises of BPTP for alleged tax evasion and under-reporting of apartment sales. Your comment?
BPTP: It is false, baseless and wrong to allege that any such IT raid was conducted at our Client’s premises for tax evasion and under reporting of apartment sales, and hence is specifically denied. This is to apprise you that IT Department carries such routine activities and no adverse order has been passed against our Client. The allegations raised are without any basis, and hence are denied in its entirety.
gfiles: Why did your company outbid DLF, Ansals and Omaxe for a 95-acre commercial-cum-residential plot in Noida for Rs. 5,006 crore—the costliest land deal in Indian history—when it really did not intend to keep it and eventually surrendered almost 74 acres back to the Noida Development Authority and retained just 21 acres for launching a commercial project?
BPTP: It may please be noted that the bid for the commercial-cum-residential plot in Noida was a genuine transaction, being based on the prevalent market conditions and commercial viability. The facts relating to this transaction is a matter of record and the same is in public domain. However, it is wrong to attribute ill intentions on the part of our Client and hence, you are urged to desist from conjuring up such false and baseless conclusions.