Noida: Taking a cue from the Allahabad High Court observation of managing an out of court settlement in connection with the ongoing land row in the NCR, the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority has decided to withdraw all cases filed in the higher courts and chalk out a compromise formulae with the farmers.

The authority officials took their first step in this regard on Wednesday and decided to withdraw the case it was fighting against the villagers of Chaura and bear the expense of Rs 20 crore which they have to pay as compensation to the villagers.

The decision would benefit more than 100 villagers of Chura Raghunath. Authority CEO NP Singh informed that decision has been taken only after getting an approval from the Chairman.

“Now, the authority will get into a compromise with the farmers and withdraw the cases. The villagers have already got judgment in their favour from the district court. In the first phase, over 100 farmers of Chura Raghunath will get the benefit," said Singh.

Singh also maintained that the authority will also try to pull out from the land acquisition cases filed by other villages at the earliest.

Government to reduce SEZ limit again

After witnessing clamour over the Noida Extension land row now, the government has become more wary with the land to be utilized for industrial purposes. In order to avoid any such disputes in future, the government is now mulling to reduce the limit of SEZ (Special Economic Zones). Currently the SEZ limit is 5,000 hectares.

In order to initiate the process, the government will soon send a proposal to the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and EGoM (Empowered Group of Ministers).

According to sources, the SEZ limit has already been reduced from 10,000 hectares to 5,000 hectares. But, the feedback from industries shows that they are unable to avail the land for the existing SEZs. The recent land acquisition rows have added fuel to fire.

The experts believe that these disputes are not new. ASSOCHAM’s Finance Secretary Rahul Khullar agreed to it by saying, “Due to the unavailability of lands, Finance Ministry is planning to reduce the size of SEZs.”

In fact some companies have even withdrawn their SEZ proposals. On one hand where the Board has allowed the real estate company Parasvnath to withdraw its tender, Mukesh Ambani led Reliance is also facing similar problems.

Notably, controversy surrounding land acquisition has become an issue in almost all the states. Be it West Bengal’s Singur, Uttar Pradesh’s Noida or the controversial land row in Haryana, all the states are bearing the brunt of the crisis.

JPN/Bureau