Gfiles February 2014


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Haryana's De facto Chief Ministers?

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Gfiles February 2014

  1. 1. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST SUBMITTED TO THE HON’BLE SUPREME COURT BY GFILES REGARDING THE GREAT LAND ROBBERY IN HARYANA. HOW HOODA ALONG WITH HIS CRONIES PLUNDERED HARYANA IN HIS 9 YEARS OF RULE. p10 February 10, 2014 ` VOL. 7, ISSUE 11 JAPAN ABEPLOMACY JEFF KINGSTON p76 Haryana’s Venod Sharma Kunal Bhadoo Congress MLA, Ambala Hooda’s son-in-law KP Singh Owner, BPTP Owner, DLF Chief Ministers? Sameer Gehlaut Arvind Walia Anil Bhalla Owner, Indiabulls Owner, Ramprastha Owner, Vatika Builders M G RA DE CE VA FO SA R HA PM Y A p6 M 8 Kabul Chawla De facto
  2. 2. Regn.No.DL(C)-14/1161/2013-15 Licence No. U(C)-03/2013-15, Licence to post without prepayment Posted on 7th & 8th of every month at SPM SRT Nagar, Post Office, New Delhi 110055 R.N.I. No: DELENG/2007/19719. Rs`200, vol. 7, issue 11 | Date of Publication: 10/2/2014 gfiles Regd. Address: 118, 2nd Floor, DDA Site 1, New Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi – 110 060
  3. 3. From the Editor I vol. 7, ISSUE 11 | FEBRUARY 2014 Anil Tyagi | editor TR Ramachandran | executive editor Niranjan Desai | roving editor GS Sood | consulting business editor Rakesh Bhardwaj | editorial consultant Arvind Tiwari | director, business development Naresh Minocha | associate editor Neeraj Mahajan | associate editor Alok Jain | coordinator (maharashtra) Ajit Ujjainkar | bureau chief (mumbai) Harishchandra Bhat | associate editor (bengaluru) Venugopalan | bureau chief (bengaluru) Kanika Srivastava | editorial coordinator Mayank Awasthi | reporter Pawan Kumar | production coordinator Sumer Singh | assistant manager, logistics Nipun Jain | finance Gautam Das | legal consultant Crossmedia Solutions | edit & design Madan Lal | Webmaster advertising & marketing U K SHARMA— +919717588883 e-mail: RAKESH ARORA— +919810648809 SAKSHAY PAHUJA— +918527006688 e-mail: mumbai: 48/C-1, Areshwar, Mhada, S.V.P. Nagar, Andheri(W), Mumbai 400 053 bengaluru: 2210, 10b main road, 3 block, jayanagar, bengaluru 560 011 CONTACT — +91 9845730298 e-mail: +All information in gfiles is obtained from sources that the management considers reliable, and is disseminated to readers without any responsibility on our part. Any opinions or views on any contemporary or past topics, issues or developments expressed by third parties, whether in abstract or in interviews, are not necessarily shared by us. Copyright exclusively with Sarvashrestha Media Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction of any material of this magazine in whole, or in part(s), in any manner, without prior permission, is totally prohibited. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any material lost or damaged in transit. The publisher reserves the right to refuse, withdraw or otherwise deal with any advertisement without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the Indian Advertisements Code. Published and printed by Anil Tyagi on behalf of Sarvashrestha Media Pvt. Ltd at Kala Jyothi Process Pvt Ltd. E-125, Site-B, Surajpur Ind. Area, Gautam Budh Nagar, Greater Noida-201306 U.P. (INDIA). All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent courts in New Delhi only T was March 2013, when Chhattar Singh, Principal Secretary (PS) to the Chief Minister of Haryana was about to retire and the new incumbent had to be selected. There were many officers in line. At the time, I met one of the senior-most officers, who too desired the prestigious post. We discussed the possibilities about who would be selected by Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the Chief Minister of Haryana. In the discussion, he said that the selection required the tacit consent of Venod Sharma, the controversial Congress MLA and liquor baron. I was taken aback. He further said that not only Venod Sharma, but the PS to CM also needed the backing of the influential builder lobby of Haryana. As a journalist, this was the first clue to the Cover Story that we carry in this issue. I sensed a big scam. Following this conversation, I toured the State many times and met a lot of leaders, officers and common people. The story built up slowly. What our Associate Editor Neeraj Mahajan unravelled was shocking—a complete surrender of the State administrative machinery before the almighty builder mafia. I have been covering Haryana for the last 31 years and in my experience, no Chief Minister had ever been influenced by an extraconstitutional authority in the selection of a PS in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. Not only the PS, but also the District Collectors (DC) and Superintendent of Police (SP) have always been the personal choice of the Chief Minister. Venod Sharma; Kunal Bhadoo, Hooda’s son-in-law; Kabul Chawla, businessman and close associate of Hooda; Anil Bhalla, CMD Vatika Group; Arvind Walia, owner of Ramprastha Developers Pvt Ltd; KP Singh, DLF Chairman; and, Sameer Gehlaut of Indiabulls were the names that figured prominently in the search for the story. Senior officers confided that nothing moved without their go-ahead. According to the whispers, they are the de facto chief ministers of Haryana. The State has approximately 200 builders, who are constructing the so-called modern Haryana. It is astonishing that these 200 builders have around 20,000 companies registered with the Registrar of Companies. How the web of these companies is allegedly converting huge amounts of black money into white and vice versa, is a matter that needs further investigation. In the early 1990s, the Delhi Lease and Finance Company (DLF) started developing some patches of land in Gurgaon, but it was on a very small scale. Getting licences and acquiring land was a tough task as the land-owning community was not willing to surrender the land for private colonisation. So, DLF first used to buy the land from farmers and then allegedly KP Singh personally used to meet the Chief Minister for change of land use (CLU). All the Lals (Bansi, Bhajan and Devi) of Haryana were clued into the sentiments of the masses. But, a new era of State planning surfaced with Bhupinder Singh Hooda coming to power. It is for the architectural institutes, administrators and town planners to study how a city can be planned without water, electricity, roads or other public amenities. The clearance of 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in real estate by the Manmohan Singh government opened up the Pandora’s Box in Haryana. Today, the real estate sector in Haryana presents an ugly state of affairs—unorganised and unprotected labour working on haphazard and hurriedly constructed castles. Hooda’s vision of development in Haryana includes almost everyone who can enrich him, his friends and families, ignoring the people of the State. gfiles is taking the cause before the Hon’ble Supreme Court as a public interest initiative, to decide what a citizen of a State should do when the State administrative machinery becomes subservient to extra-constitutional authorities. ANIL TYAGI Download the gfiles app gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 3
  4. 4. CONTENTS 6 Bric-a-Brac LETTERS 36 JIG I CA NES NSI T H, GH OF F T AL ATT L ES p 10 Petition in Public Interest THE GREAT LAND ROBBERY T posts & hosts MG DEVASAHAYAM HOODA SELLING HARYANA TO BUILDERS p26 January 5, 2014 ` VOL. 7, ISSUE 10 OM NARAIN VAID STARGAZER FIRST STIRRINGS p42 Fading Halo 62 Politics 68 Governance 72 76 Global Scan 81 Book Review 82 My Corner 84 Silly Point 87 Stock Doctor 88 Exhibition 96 Perspective 97 By the Way 4 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 It is more or less clear from the current scenario and the results of the elections of five states that the ruling party’s rule would probably come to an end. Although speeches and political rallies by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is not creating any place in the hearts and minds of the common people. Subramanium (‘Diminishing returns from dynasty’, gfiles, January 2014) has done an excellent analysis of what all is currently going on inside and outside the Congress. It shows that, by just belonging to the first family, Rahul cannot impact the public without proving himself practically. A K Saxena on blog K Subramaniam has rightly said Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is no game changer. I just want to add one or two things. Rahul in his first TV interview was looking confused and directionless. After watching the interview it was saddening but he doesn’t bear any quality of a leader who can take a stand. I think the Congress think-tank has realised that Rahul baba can’t be a match winner for the Congress and that’s why after so many strong predictions, he has not been nominated as the prime ministerial can- didate. I think the recent assembly elections should be a lesson for Congressmen and they better pull up their socks before the general elections. R Sharma via email This is not the first time when an Indian has been treated in a highhanded manner by the US. I must say that the incidences covered by the writer Niranjan Desai (‘Give what you get’, gfiles, January 2014) give us complete overview of the image of India in the eyes of the US. This is a matter of self respect and self-esteem on both the national and international stage, that how Indians are being treated by other countries. By compiling previous such incidences, not only between India and US, but also with Brazil, Nigeria, UK, the writer has made an extraordinary effort to highlight such incidences and urge the higher authorities to take stringent steps. Madan Lal on blog I am not at all satisfied with the way Kejriwal is working. Kejriwal has confessed that he intends to bring anarchy in India. Besides showing a way to others and being set as an example, he is destroying the pattern of governance! What is his mission? Does he want to destabilise India? If yes, who sponsors him financially? Being a bureaucrat, he is expected to be extremely talented, but his decisions are worrying Delhiites! John on blog It is absolutely true that the first information report by the citizenry does not get its desired way. The writer has well explained the word ‘burking’ in his own way with the practical experiences of his life which also gives a clear message to the Indian police to stop burking and let the common man walk on the right track to get justice. Shruti Goel via email
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  6. 6. Bric-a-brac posts & hosts Wooing the media freebies, high posts and even marriage I F one desires to enter politics or get married, the easiest way apparently is to join a newspaper or TV organisation. It is well known that media management has become a tough job for political parties and its leaders. The media fraternity also knows that every party needs them desperately to reach to the masses. Top political parties are wooing journalists by distributing all kind of freebies. Some Chief Ministers are distributing free houses, cars and highend telephones. The new rage is to appoint journalist at constitutional posts. Mulayam Singh Yadav has appointed Amethi bulletin sanjay singh cynosure of all T HE parliamentary constituency of Amethi has been continuously in the news for the last 3O years as Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have been contesting from this seat for the Congress. This seat has some sort of magic; whosoever plans to contest from this seat becomes popular across the country overnight. Aam Aadmi Party candidate Kumar Vishwas’ candidature has created a furore among Congress Party officials. It was more so because Sanjay Singh, a strong Thakur leader of UP and MP from Sultanpur, planned to desert the Congress Party at a time when the party is fighting its battle for survival. For so many years, Sanjay Singh has 6 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 four journalists as information commissioners. One of them is his son Prateek Yadav’s father-in-law, Arvind Singh Bisht, a retired journalist from The Times of India. The others are Raj Keshar of Dainik Jagran, Delhi; Sudesh Kumar of Dainik Jagran, Lucknow; and Vijay Sharma of Charchit Rajneeti, Lucknow. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has also appointed three journalists as information commissioners in the state. Sukhbir Singh Badal has similarly obliged. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has nominated Harivansh, a veteran journalist, for Rajya Sabha. One should not be surprised that the Aam Aadmi Party’s nickname in Delhi is “Media Party”. Except for Arvind Kejriwal, most of the leaders, be it Manish Sisodia, Yogendra Yadav, or Ashutosh, are in one way or the other connected to the media. It is also learnt that one of the channel heads has been offered the South Mumbai seat by a national party. It is interesting to observe many politicians have married TV journalists in the last five years. A young and prominent Chief Minister of North India is reportedly having an affair with a renowned TV anchor. But, things got a bit sour when an MP from Bihar proposed to an agency reporter; the young lady just smiled and moved away to do her professional duty. g been completely neglected by the party. He used to wonder what happened to the party, where the facilitators of major industrial houses have become ministers and political leaders are being ignored. The moment the Congress realised that winning Amethi will be difficult without the active support of Thakur of Amethi, everybody in the party started talking to him. Singh is well-connected in every political party, BJP’s top brass too, has been in touch with him. The only way to stop Sanjay from joining the BJP, would be with an assurance of a settled political career. Finally, the Thakur got a Rajya Sabha nomination from Assam which has assured him political stability for six years. It is yet to be seen if Sanjay will be given some important job in UP or not. g
  7. 7. INSIDE EYE ILLUSTRATIONS: ARUNA Ticket to ride getting a parliament car pass M INISTERS and Members of Parliament are perpetually in a state of being temporary. Their entrance to the Parliament is restricted by passes issued for parking their vehicles. The 15th Lok Sabha had 15 sessions in five years. The MPs never faced any problem in entering the house. So, the Parliament Security was in a fix whether to issue the car passes for the current year to the present MPs or not. Technically, the term of the Parliament is over after the second session. In such a scenario, if the Parliament Security issues the passes for 2014 to the current MPs and they do not win seats in the forthcoming elections, how can the security stop their entry. Parliament Security were finally able to get a solution as the new Prime Minister has to be elected on or before May 21, 2014 and the results of the 16th Lok Sabha will be finalised by May 15, 2014. After calculating the dates, Parliament Security officials have issued car passes to the sitting MPs which are valid till May 15, 2014. The happiest lot are the ex-MPs, who have got their yearly pass on time. There are ex-MPs who have been voted out for the last 30 years but are still entitled to an entry whereas the senior officials who are working in the Parliament for last 30 years are not allowed with their personal vehicles; they have to park in Parliament Annexe. g gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 7
  8. 8. Bric-a-brac posts & hosts A Prime Ministerial debate trade, media to ask the questions A businessman seldom leaves an opportunity to approach the political party in power. The 16th Lok Sabha Elections are on and nobody knows who will be the next Prime Minister of India. It is a rare occurrence that no one knows who to bank on. Trade associations are active to grab any opportunity to introduce Prime Ministerial candidates to their influential top business personalities. Prime Ministerial candidates are also happy to meet them before the elections for obvious reasons. One of the top prominent trade associations has finalised ten candidates for a round table discussion before the elections. It is going to be an interesting debate with not only by business personalities but media as well. The prominent prime ministerial candidates are Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Navin Patnaik, Nitish Kumar, Jayalalitha, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati and Shivraj Singh Chauhan, who have been invited for the discussion. When gfiles asked one of the chief members of the trade association, what was planned in case none of the candidates became the PM, he did not have an answer. g 8 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014
  9. 9. gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 9
  10. 10. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate THE GREAT Haryana is not a state, it is real estate by ANIL TYAGI “We must speak up irrespective of whether it will have its desired effects or not, because by speaking up we may not guarantee raising the consciousness of the people who listen but by not speaking up we will definitely let the people to remain deaf and dumb”. When in 2004, the citizens of Haryana elected Bhupinder Singh Hooda first time as their Chief Minister, they must have thought 10 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 that the monopoly of Lals (Devi Lal, Bhajan Lal and Bansi Lal) will be over. They had breathed a sigh of relief and posed faith in the new leadership of Hooda. Alas! Hooda, alias Bhupi, has belied their hopes and aspirations. Hooda, in his nine years of rule, has emerged as a coloniser, builder and a shrewd businessman who worked only to serve the interest of the elitist class of the country rather than to serve the citizens of Haryana. It is an astonishing scenario where a Chief Minister, who has been elected as a protector and guarantor of a sovereign State in the federal structure of India, allegedly became the plunderer of the State resources. The land, which is the prime source of existence of the farmer in the State, is in the hands of such a Chief Minister, who joined hands with greedy plunderers of the State who have nothing to do with the development of the Haryana and Haryanvis; their main aim is to make a quick buck in the shortest possible time. Haryana’s state of affairs is a
  11. 11. LAND ROBBERY colonisers. Hooda’s rule is a sordid saga where, in all 21 districts of the State the rules have been amended, master plans have been malafidely drafted and environmental and ecological laws thrown into the dustbin at the behest of the builders’ mafia, with the connivance of the political and administrative machinery. Land is the one resource which cannot be stretched. The population of India is growing every day. India has to debate how an elected Chief Minister, legislators and the State administrative machinery should utilise the State’s resources only for the welfare of the State and nobody else. India has to debate how a Chief Minister can dare to connive with the PHOTOS: RAJEEV TYAGI bizarre example of administrative, political and economic mismanagement, where the whole administrative machinery connived and surrendered to serve the builder mafia rather than to serve the poor and the poorest of the State. Like plunderers of yore, Genghis Khan and Mahmud of Ghazni, Hooda, the Chief Minister elected for five years planned and designed the Master Plan for the next 50 years, that too without consulting the stakeholders within the State. Haryana is a peculiar State where farmers, land owners, communities and city residents have been coerced to surrender the precious land—which they owned for generations— under the guise of the Land Acquisition Act to greedy builder mafia to implement the Master Plan and forcibly take away farmers’ land without consultation with the stakeholders in that particular district. Hooda never bothered to consult the panchayats, block pramukhs, zila parishads, local MLAs and municipalities in nine years as the Chief Minister. He seems to have defied all the parameters that define a democratic State. Our Associate Editor, Neeraj Mahajan, after three months of investigation, has unearthed the allegedly unholy nexus of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, his coterie, and the builder mafia in a detailed public interest initiative, submitted to the Hon’ble Supreme Court. It explains how a Chief Minister can become a despotic ruler rather than messiah. gfiles, in its endeavour, has spared 50 pages of the magazine, which no publication dares to do for one story. In the forthcoming issues, we will expose how individual builders and some of the billionaire MLAs of Haryana are making castles without proper mechanism and infrastructure, just to befool the poor man, who is dreaming about having a roof over his head one day with his hard-earned money. g gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 11
  12. 12. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate A Petition In The Public Interest W.P No……..of 2014 THE HON’BLE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, NEW DELHI (Extraordinary Writ Jurisdiction) In the matter of: gfiles : A magazine on governance (Regd.No.DL Eng/2007/19719) 118, IInd Floor, DDA Site-I, New Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi – 110060 VERSUS 1. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana 2. 3. 4. 12 Secretary, Ministry of Finance Department of Revenue Room No. 46, North Block New Delhi - 110 001 Ministry of Environment & Forests Government of India Paryavaran Bhavan CGO Complex, Lodhi Road New Delhi-110003 Ministry of Urban Development Government of India Through: National Capital Region Planning Board, Core-IV B, First Floor India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road New Delhi-110003 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 …. Petitioner 5. Department of Town & Country Planning & Urban Estate Government of Haryana 4th Floor, Haryana Civil secretariat Chandigarh 6. Department of Labour Government of Haryana, 30 Bays Building, Sector 17, Chandigarh - 160 017 7. Ministry of Forests & Environment Government of Haryana Room No. 34, 8th Floor Haryana Civil Secretariat Chandigarh ……..Respondents
  13. 13. (Any other Ministry, Departments, organisations and individuals as will be deemed just and appropriate to be made as parties with the permission of this Hon’ble Court) MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH: Court by way of the present writ petition for public interest by invoking the extraordinary writ jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court with a prayer, as mentioned in the prayer clause, to decide once and for all whether people sitting in the government, or in other words, State can arbitrarily decide the use of land resources, especially in view of the fact that mass scale favouritism and misuse of land to benefit a handful of powerful coterie and that too in flagrant violation of all existing environmental and other laws, rules and regulations made therein to protect the control of land uses and to avoid any haphazard development of land and ecological disturbances and for matters connected therewith. respect seem to have no effect on the present day Haryana Government. In one of the much discussed judgements, the Hon’ble Justice GS Singhvi held that: The framers of the Constitution and the representative of the people who were responsible for introducing Part IV-A enacted the above provisions with a fond hope that every citizen will honestly play his role in building of a homogeneous society in which every Indian will be able to live with dignity without having to bother about the basics, like food, clothing, shelter, education, Haryana Government’s Labour Department turns a blind eye to lack of safety norms for workers (above); new housing colonies are being built but without water supply (left) medical aid, and the nation will constantly march forward and will take its place of pride in the comity of nations. However, what has happened during the last few decades is sufficient to shatter those hopes. The gap between ‘haves’ and ‘haves-not’ of the society, which existed even in pre-Independent India, has widened to such an extent that bridging it appears to be an impossibility. A new creed of people (haves) has come into existence. Those belonging to this category have developed a new value system which is totally incompatible with the values and ideals cherished by the Indian society for centuries together. They have grabbed power, political and apolitical, and have successfully used the public institutions to subserve their ends. The system of quotas, licences, permits, etc., has been used and misused by them for increasing their material wealth. Their actions have created an atmosphere of diffidence in all walks of life. The common man has started feeling that this new creed of people, who believe in grabbing whatever comes its way, is unstoppable and the law will also become its servant because quite a few people belonging to this class are creators and administrators of law. However, it appears that every thing is not lost. The third organ of the State, whose primary duty has been to interpret the Constitution and the provisions of law and to adjudicate PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 13
  14. 14. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate the disputes between the individual (s) and the State and between individuals inter se, or groups of individual, has been forced by the people and the circumstances to take steps to uphold the majesty of law and the authority of the Constitution. Secretary, JDA vs Daulat Mal Jain, JT 1996(8) SC 387, the Apex Court had the occasion to examine allotment of lands to the respondents by the Minister and the committee headed by the Minister. Some of the observations made in that decision are quite relevant in the context of the present case and are therefore, quoted below: “... The Minister holds public office though he gets constitutional status and performs functions under constitution, law executive policy. The acts done and duties performed are public acts or duties as holding of the public office. Therefore, he owes certain accountability for the acts done or duties performed. In a democratic society governed by rule of law, power is conferred on the holder of the public office or the concerned authority by the Constitution by Haphazard construction has created havoc all around 14 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 virtue of appointment. The holder of the office, therefore, gets opportunity to abuse or misuse of the office. The politician who holds public office must perform public duties with the sense of purpose, and a sense of direction, under rules or sense of priorities. The purpose must be genuine in a free democratic society governed by the rule of law to further socioeconomic democracy. The executive Government should frame its policies to maintain the social order, stability, progress and morality. All actions of the Government are performed through/by individual persons in collective or joint or individual capacity. Therefore, they should morally be responsible for their actions.... The Minister is responsible not only for his actions but also for the job of the bureaucrats who work or have worked under him. He owes the responsibility to the electors for all his actions taken in the name of the Governor in relation to the Department of which he is the Head. If the Minister, in fact, is responsible for all the detailed working of his Department, then clearly ministerial responsibility must cover a wider spectrum than mere moral responsibility; for no minister can possibly get acquainted with; all the detailed
  15. 15. decisions involved in the working of his Department.... The so-called public policy cannot be a camouflage for abuse of the power and trust entrusted with a public authority or public servant for the performance of public duties. Misuse implies doing of something improper. The essence of impropriety is replacement of a public motive for a private one. When satisfaction sought in the performance of duties is for mutual personal gain, the misuse is usually termed as corruption. The holder of a public office is said to have misused his position when in pursuit of a private satisfaction, as distinguished from public interest, he has done something which he ought not to have done. The most elementary qualification demanded of a Minister is honesty and incorruptibility. He should not only possess these qualifications but should also appear to possess the same.” well known, has been rapidly converted into jungle of concrete, taking a heavy toll on existing flora and fauna of the State and damaging its reputation of being the food bowl of the country. his tenure, kept all the important departments relating to land and urban development under his control with the sole motive of taking unilateral decisions regarding sale and allotment of land to a select Most favoured, BPTP’s gateway to billions few favourite individuals and groups, turning them billionaires overnight at the cost of poor Haryanvis. changed, altered or modified with the motive of favouring a select group of builders close to the Chief Minister and its coterie, benefiting both with complete disregard to systemic planning and the basic laws of equity. So much so that three Master Plans were created in haste, including Master Plan 2031, assuming that the same government will continue for decades to come. politicians and others to seek political and other favours i.e. Quid pro quo. changed midway to safeguard commercial interest of some favoured builders with complete disregard to the cost and loss of revenue to the State exchequer. Government are allegedly influenced by a select coterie, comprising of influential politicians, builders and business mafia, including Venod Sharma, Kunal Badoo, Arvind Walia, Anil Sharma, Kabul Chawla and Sameer Gehlaut. PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 15
  16. 16. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate Men in shadows: Those who pull the political strings by NEERAJ MAHARAJ I T 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 16 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 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, entrepre- neur 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
  17. 17. MNC offices on Delhi-Jaipur highway are edifices to lure innocent customers GURGAON-MANESAR URBAN COMPLEX Land use Residential Master plan 2021 Area in hectares 14,930 Master plan 2025 Area in hectares 15,148 Master plan 2031 Area in hectares 16,010 Commercial 1,404 1,429 1,616 Industrial 5,441 5,431 4,613 Transport and communication Public utilities 4,231 4,289 4,420 564 609 626 Institutional Public and semi-public use  Open spaces 1,630 1,775 2,035 2,675 2,688 2,775 Special zone 106 106 114 Defence land 633 633 633 31,614 32,108 32,842 Total land Special Economic Zone 4,570 4,570 Existing town 406 406 406 Village abadis 428 428 478 37,069 37,512 33,726 Grand total Source: Town and Country Planning, Haryana 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. A PART 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 PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 17
  18. 18. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate T The BPTP and DLF saga HE 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—`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 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. 18 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 W 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 `2.41 billion from the market. Today, with licenses for close to 1,606 acre land in Two to tango: The BPTP couple ITHIN 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.
  19. 19. 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 KP Singh 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 `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. One of the richest politicians in the state, Sharma’s `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 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. in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It is alleged that Hooda is a shareholder in Sharma’s hotels, sugar and construction business. S ON of liquor baron and onetime 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-mem- ber 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. PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 19
  20. 20. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate Venod Sharma Kabul Chawla Kunal Bhadoo THE ‘H’ COMPANY Sameer Gehlaut KP Singh S HARMA, 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 minis- Arvind Walia Anil Bhalla ter—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, 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 `14,000 `3,000 `16,000 `3,500  Faridabad `7,200 `1,500 `9,200 `2,000  Sonepat `6,000 `1,000 `7,500 `1,200  Panipat `6,000 `1,000 `7,500 `1,200  Panchkula `7,200 `1,500 `9,200 `2,000 20 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014
  21. 21. 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. Top 33 Most Benefitted Builders of Hooda Regime S.No. Promoters/ Builders Land License Obtained in Acres I 1606 2 Ansal Properties & Infrastructure  1360 3 DLF New Gurgaon Home Developers 939 4 Intime Promoters (TDI) 867 5 Omaxe Housing & Developers 866 6 Unitech 725 7 Vatika Land Base   632 8 Parshavnath Developers 603 9 Emaar MGF Land  531 10 IREO KSS Properties 519 11 Sonika 399 12 Chintals India  396 13 AN Buildwell   315 14 Bestech India   297 15 Uddar Gagan 291 16 Reliance Haryana SEZ 251 Rangoli Projects   242 18 India Bulls Estates  222 19 Vipul Infrastructure Developers  216 20 Dwarkadhis Buildwell 209 21 Raheja Developers   195 22 Ramprastha Buildwell   189 23 Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure    177 24 Herman Fin Properties 154 25 Grandeur Real Estate 145 26 Uppal Housing  142 27 F 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 SADBJP 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 Countrywide Promoters   17 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 1 Jai Krishna Artec JV 123 28 Mapsco Buildwell 120 29 Parveen Gupta, Vipin Gupta 118 30 ERA Infrastructure 118 31 Martial Buildcon 117 32 Desert Moon Realtors Pvt. Ltd. 110 33 Orris Infrastructure 108 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. 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 PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 21
  22. 22. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate 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. A S 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 The Dwarka-Gurgaon Expressway: Where it starts and ends, nobody knows! 22 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 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 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. 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 250300 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 oneacre 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,
  23. 23. LEGACY OF 12 CMs & PRESIDENT’S RULE I N 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 Bansi Lal Bhagwat Dayal Sharma (in the initial stages), all others favoured one or Banarsi Das Gupta 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. Bhajan lal Bhupinder Singh Hooda Devi Lal 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 Hukum Singh Om Prakash Chautala favourite, bagging the maximum licenses, followed by DLF. Another significant contribution of Bansi Lal was the limited entry of Unitech and Utility builders. Chief Minister from July 17, 1990, to March 21, 1991, issued However, when Chaudhary Devi Lal became the Chief licenses for the National Media Centre (21 acres) and to Minister on July 17, 1987, not a single license was granted Durga Builder (127 acre). to any developer. This tradition was maintained even Om Prakash Chautala became the Chief Minister when his son Om Prakash Chautala remained the Chief again—from March 22, 1991, to April 6, 1991—and did not Minister from Dec 2, 1989, to May 22, 1990. issue any license during his term. After this, there was However, Dec 2, 1989—the last day of Devi Lal’s regime President's Rule in the State from April 6, 1991, to July 23, and first day of Om Prakash Chautala—would go down in 1991. Again, no licenses were issued in the period. the history of Haryana. On that single day, eight licenses However, in the following five years of Bhajan Lal’s were approved: DLF Universal (5) in Gurgaon Sectors 24, Chief Ministership—July 23, 1991, to May 9, 1996—60 25, 25A, 27, 28 and 43; Ansal (2) Gurgaon Sectors 1, 2, licenses were given. Those who benefitted included, 3, 17 and Unitech (1) Gurgaon Sectors 30, 40, 41. It may DLF (641 acres), Ansals (258 acres), Unitech (309 acres) be well worth investigating who sanctioned these licenses and others. on a single date and why. More so, when no license was In the next three years—May 11, 1996, to July 23, 1999— allotted two years before or two years after that date! Bansi Lal tried to match the record by sanctioning 39 proAfter Chautala, Banarsi Das Gupta was the Chief jects over 793 acres of land in Gurgaon. Though Ansal was Minister from May 22, 1990, to July 12, 1990, and Chautala the favourite, DLF and others too were granted licenses. again from July 12, 1990, to July 17, 1990. But, no license In his new term, from July 24, 1999, to March 4, 2005, Om was given in this period. Prakash Chautala was a changed person and sanctioned The jinx was broken when Hukam Singh, who was the 35 projects in Gurgaon over 463 acres of land. PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 23
  24. 24. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate they approach someone like Badoo, who can’t say no to favours from builders. Here are a few examples: Hooda fiddles, Haryana burns E VER 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 S 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’. 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 `28 Lakh. It’s besides the point that these plots were worth at least `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, UNLAWFUL ACTS IN HOODA ERA OON 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 `3,500, instead of `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 `3,000, against `14,000 per square yard previously. Even people in small towns like Faridabad, Panchkula, Panipat, Sonepat, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Bahadurgarh, Hissar, Rohtak, Palwal, 24 In Rohtak, Hooda’s home district, 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 637 acres gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 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 `9,200 to `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 reconsid- eration 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
  25. 25. persons licensed by the department to qualify to be called ‘Reputed Coloniser’. Curiously, a ticklish policy—dated March 27, 2008—decided to give onetime 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, with- out 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 `10,000-crore EDC for creation of basic amenities collected from the end-consumers through the builders in the last five years. Dwarka-Gurgaon Expressway: The ugly reality of a ‘beautiful’ highway 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. S IMILARLY, 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 PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 25
  26. 26. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate Despotic Hooda (March 2005-2014) Questionable Pro-Builder Policies of Haryana Government Date Name of policy Salient initiative 09.06.2006 License for land pockets The only condition is that such land locked pockets owned by individuals should not be more than 10% of the licensed area forming part of or granted to the developer. adjoining existing licensed colonies. 19.12.2006 Policy for grant of license and change of land use Came into effect with retrospective effect from 7 June, 2005 Beneficiary / Analysis 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. After careful consideration of the matter the Governor 1. The Minister here happened to be the Chief Minister himself of Haryana is pleased to convey the policy parameters relating to the grant of license and permission for 2. Even if the Director Town Planning wanted to grant or deny a license he needed the change of land use as under :concurrence of the Chief Minister who held all urban development portfolios. 1. Competent Authority to grant licenses: The licenses shall be granted/ refused by the DTCP with prior 3. The fate of all cooperatives housing was sealed internal concurrence of the State Government at Minister’s Level. The State Government will how- 4. Group housing societies and builders were indirectly given a free hand. ever, exercise appellate powers under the Act. 2. Minimum area for grant of licenses under different 5. Change of land use made easy zones 3. Area under group housing should not exceed 20% Beneficiary: of the sector area. 4. Discontinue licenses to the Cooperative Housing BPTP—its strategy has been to quickly Societies even in Low Potential Zones. No such convert land use from agricultural to land restriction for construction of Group Housing pro- eligible for real estate development and jects. create a vast bank of licensed land. This 5. Change of land use (CLU) applications to be con- helped them launch mid-income housing sidered in conformity with land use proposals of projects in a relatively short time frame even the Development Plans and zoning regulations. during the economic recession in 2008-09. 6. Classification of controlled areas under hyper Apart from everything this helped the potential, high, medium and low potential zones. company generate robust cash flow with reduced capital expenditure. 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. Amendment of policy concerning group of persons 1. Group of persons were sought to be given dated 20th December, 2006 the status of a reputed coloniser for setting 1. Reputed coloniser will be the one who has up a colony. already obtained a license under the Haryana 2. Changed in definition of reputed coloniser Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, as one who has 1975 a. Already obtained a license 2. In case of collaboration agreement -- a developer b. Pays full EDC, service charges and 100% who is not a licensee but applying for a license for bank guarantee for internal development. the first time full EDC, service charges and 100% bank guarantee of internal development works 3. Allowed back door entry for private Policy deemed to have taken before grant of license “so as to safeguard developers—without a license to sign but come into effect w.e.f. the public interest. Those who comply with desiring to make an entry by signing a 19th May, 2004. these stipulations would be termed as reputed collaboration agreement with a group of colonizers.” persons 26 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014
  27. 27. Date Name of policy Salient initiative Beneficiary / Analysis 30.5.2007 Amended area parame- Utilisation of maximum 5% of the area of a residential What was the need to back date by almost ters for Cyber Parks/ IT sector for establishment of IT Parks/Cyber Parks one year? Parks in residential sectors Ironically all the six licenses for IT City in Gurgaon over 36 acre land in sector 24,25 and Effective for application 25A in Hooda’s tenure have been bagged by received after 7 th DLF Universal. Similarly more than 90 % of the August, 2006. 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 Policy formed vide letter no.5/30/2007-2TCP from acquisition 26.10.2007 Policy for release of land The earlier policy formed just 26 days back was superfrom acquisition seded. Salient features of this policy were: 1. Only those applications will be considered for release under section 48(1) where structure existed prior to section 4 and were inhabited. 2. Any factory or commercial establishment which existed prior to section 4 will be considered for release. 3. Any religious institution or any building owned by community will also be considered for release 4. Any land for which an application was made under section 3 of Haryana Development and Regulations of Urban Areas Act, 1975 by the owners prior to award for converting the land into a colony 5. Same for a land where the ownership was established prior to notification under section 4 of the Act. 6. Land may be released in the interest of integrated and planned development where the owners have obtained stay from courts 7. Government may release any land on the grounds other than stated above under section 48(1) of the Act under exceptionally justifiable circumstances but reasons are to be recorded in writing 20-11-07 Change of Land Use for No additional CLU should be required where ground buildings that existed coverage or permissible FAR has already been before declaration of achieved up to 75% of the permissible limits. Controlled Area 01-02-08 Policy for Change of Land use permission for buildings that existed before the declaration of controlled area It is obvious that these revised guidelines were framed to allow big commercial and religious interests to openly misuse the system. 1. All it takes for a builder is to claim and prove—at least on paper that the structure existed prior to section 4 and is inhabited. 2. Why special favours for factories and commercial establishment which existed prior to section 4? This simply indicates that either section 4 was not required or now a back door is being opened. 3. Why should religious institutions be shown special favours? 4. The act seeks to regulate the land use and prevent ill-planned, haphazard urbanisation in Haryana and section 3 deals with detailed process an owner desiring to convert his land into a colony has to follow – in other words it means that the owner prior to the award was himself interested in conversion of the land into colony. 5. When a court has granted stay, where is the question of releasing the land? 27.03.2008 One time relaxation to private schools, whose applications are pending in Education Department for want of recognition of controlled area, to be retained as is, benefit of 60% ground coverage to be given. subsequent floors falling in the setback area, no new construction to be allowed in setback area. Please note how the town and country to apply to applicants, whose applications are planning department is providing legitimacy pending in the Education Department.. to private schools and institutions which are yet to be recognised by the education as per prevalent Education Rules. department lease period is of 20 years. Could it be because the CM’s son-in-law Kunal - Badoo is himself in the field of education? vate school whose applications are pending for recognition in the Education Department PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 27
  28. 28. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate Date Name of policy Salient initiative 13.05.2008 Policy regarding remov- 1. Removal of limit on maximum height of buildings al of height restriction in Group Housing and Commercial Colonies for of building for group which licenses are issued under Haryana Urban housing colony and Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, commercial colony 1975 2. Town & Country Planning Department notification No. 8DP(ii)-2004/483, dated 22.12.2004 withdrawn Beneficiary / Analysis 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 `10/- per sq metre on the entire site. In Such a low rate —`10 per sq/ metre return maximum permissible ground coverage and Change of Land Use permission on vacant lands 15.09.2008 Policy regarding grant License only to those Registered Cooperative Housing of license to Cooperative Societies who collaborate with builders/ developers Housing Societies. 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. 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. 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 `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 10 leading builders were licensed 200 acre categories of affordable housing priced at `4 lakh, land in Gurgaon to build 40,000 units. Not a `12.5 lakh, `14 lakh and `16 lakh single apartment has been handed over. 2. This scheme was open only for three months 20.08.2009 Amendment in policy Fallout of a meeting of CM Haryana with colonisers dated 19.12.2006, on 14 July: 29.5.2009 for grant of Group Housing allowed maximum 10% area for group housing Component as a part of over and above existing 20% limit for group plotted colony and housing in a sector increase in density. 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 28 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014
  29. 29. Date Name of policy 29.04.2010 Occupation Certificate and composition of offence where change of land use permission has expired. Salient initiative Beneficiary / Analysis Change of land-use to general category amount if any, toward increase in the prescribed group housing alone has made different rates if any from the date of application for grant of builders richer by around `4,000 crore. occupation certificate. for unauthorised occupation of the building as well as EDC at updated rates 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: Retail Outlets in the controlled areas as the DC seeks reports from different departments before issuing the final NOC. 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 Uniform norms for Educational Institutions in the Urban Areas/ residential colonies being developed by HUDA, Controlled Areas Colonisers and Change of land use cases in controlled areas as well as municipalities. 24.01.2011 Policy regarding release Release of any land on grounds other than stated of land from acquisition 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 www indianbuz .c ww ndianbuz com a u uzz.c PPI contd. on next page gf les in id gfiles inside th overnment gfiles inside the government fi e de ve nm nt gfiles inside the government vol vol vol. issue 11 February 2014 vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 ol. issu ss ssu ebruar 01 uar ua 14 29 29
  30. 30. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate “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. I NCIDENTALLY, 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 Modus operandi: New highways open up land acquisition opportunities for builders (top right); the entry to Dwarka-Gurgaon Expressway (below) 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: Dwarka Expressway: 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 DelhiGurgaon 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 H AT’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: after a government notification to acquire land about three years ago in Ullahwas. Private builders took advantage of the situation and bought land for `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 `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. sis 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. 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. tion notice, farmers in Jandli, Kamli, Saunda and Sarai Mehdood sold large 30 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014
  31. 31. MODUS OPERANDI: HOW FAVOURS ARE GRANTED LEGALLY 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 `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. PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 31
  32. 32. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate Development Overdrive? H ARYANA 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 `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. 32 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 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-theline 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 DelhiMumbai 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-MansearPalwal (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 `25 lakh per acre to `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
  33. 33. 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 interState 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 BadarpurFaridabad 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 Builders line the main roads of Gurgaon to sell their projects 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? PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 33
  34. 34. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate 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 PhaseIII in Gurgaon, whose land too was proposed to be acquired by Haryana government. 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 `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 How Uddar Gagan Properties got absolute monopoly in Rohtak Licenses 16 Area Land Licenses in Hooda Regime since 2005 Rohtak 958 acre Jop International Ltd. RGH 6.09 Omaxe Construction  Plotted 77.48 Omaxe Construction  Plotted 41.91 One Point Realty   Plotted 59.66 One Point Realty   Addl. Plotted 13.44 Parsavnath Developers  Plotted 118.19 Ramesh Chander Plotted 4.4 Sharad farms and holdings   GH 14.81 Sonika Properties   Plotted 175.64 Sonika Properties   Plotted 173.03 Sonika Properties   Plotted 19.97 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 Total 34 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 636.75 Acre 66.5 % 957.92
  35. 35. CRY IN THE WILDERNESS O Such photographs are used for newspaper advertisements to show ongoing construction to woo consumers 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. 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— FEEBLE VOICES NE 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- Rao Inderjit Singh 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 Capt Ajay Singh Yadav 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 Kumari Selja 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 Birender Singh two residential sectors. PPI contd. on next page gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 35
  36. 36. PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST haryana real estate Questions for Hooda 1 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? 2 Has any one, including the incometax 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? 3 Has the Haryana government checked the antecedents of the Chairman/ Managing Director/ Directors of the companies engaged in land acquisition and colonisation? 4 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. 5 Has any concrete action been taken by the Land Revenue Department to assess and recover the said losses? 6 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? 36 gfiles inside the government vol. 7, issue 11 | February 2014 7 How many builders and colonisers have been fined by the government on the issue of non-compliance? 8 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. 9 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? 10 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? 11 How almost 1,684 sq km forest area in the State has become barren? 12 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? 13 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. 14 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? 15 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 sonin-law, who is in the business of education and has ambitious plans in this sector? 16 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? 17 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? 18 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?