Billions, Billions Worth Land Scams

Morning walk becomes enjoyable with someone to gossip, mainly on current topics. Some of the acquaintances, who accompany me mostly, are retired high ranking engineers, even chiefs from the departments of irrigation, PWD with roads, state electricity boards and even journalists. Corruption and black money has become the hot subjects. Due credits must go the movements of Anna, Ramdev and its coverage in media these days.

I have been hearing mind-boggling stories about the corruption in land and real estate deals in and around Noida. Perhaps every CEO of Noida till date had faced some or the other charges. And all the charges connected their involvement with Lucknow. CEO survived on the mercy of Lucknow.

The most asked question recently has been about the Noida land trouble because of media making it a regular feature in its reporting. Who got rich by Noida Land Scam? Farmers, builders, Noida Authority or politicians and administrators! People talk of the distribution of the loot in the land deal. But few talk about the huge money going to Lucknow.

For every square metre of the land, the farmer gets Rs 800; the Noida authority gets Rs 8000, but approximately Rs 8000 also move to someone in Lucknow. The farmers get paid by authority, the builders pay to the authority and Lucknow. Builders make up to Rs 20,000-30,000 or more. The authority gets it by cheques in white, but Lucknow gets in black or green cash. The builders get paid both in white by cheques as well as black in cash. In the process some few other minor or major players also get benefited mostly in black cash depending on his or her role.

No one talks about the Lucknow share that cumulatively will be the biggest scam of the world. According to one estimate, Lucknow collects Rs 600-800 crores every day from all the corners of the state. A parallel organization works for it and assures that every day’s target is achieved.

It is universally known fact that in any real estate deal in India, the black cash plays a significant part. The amount depends on demand and supply. What is that amount?

Even if the figure of Rs 8000 going to Lucknow in cash is discounted to Rs 1000, let us calculate the value of the scam. If I believe just one report, ‘over the past two years, Chief Minister Mayawati’s government forcibly acquired around 6,500 hectares.’ And the scam value of this will be Rs 6500 crores for 6500 hectares. But can you imagine what will be the amount if you calculate the scam for all the land deals for builders and industrialists going on in the whole of UP? GNIDA alone has acquired nearly 3,000 hectares of land in the villages. 8,700 acres of land spanning 18 villages has been acquired in Ghaziabad for a ‘hi-tech city. As reported, over 30,000 hectares of rich fertile agricultural land is going to private real estate developers along the unique projects of expressways in UP. And the number of such deals is in hundreds or perhaps thousands.

What will be the total cash going to Lucknow?

The same is the case when the entrepreneurs ask for a huge plot of land for setting up certain factories. With all my experiences for handling two big projects running in thousands of crores, I vouch for the fact that for any project the cost of land had been just puny compared to the cost of the total project. That had been one of attractions for private investments, even from the MNCs. Why should the entrepreneurs bother about paying the premium to any one in any form? One could just know the money involved in the land acquired for Anil Ambani for his dream mega power plant in Dadri that didn’t come up.

Till now the loot from the real estate business was shared by the politicians and administrators. The farmers have understood the game now and are now trying to squeeze the best that they can through protests.

Farmers of Noida had been not only unreasonable, but unscrupulous too. And everyone knows the conflict will end with more money in pockets of farmers.

But what is the justification of demolishing the construction already raised?

Political parties and local leaders with vested interest are solely responsible for these anarchic situation by farmers and they will get the maximum out of the trouble.

But say if the builders are made to demolish the constructions already made, what will happen to the black money paid to the builders by the investors, the persons who wish to have their dream house?

Can the government of day put a control on this scam that must be equivalent to the total revenue every year of the government of India?

Can the country produce a leader that can curb it? Will there be some incarnation for saving the country? Will the incarnated soul after its appearance also find Himself getting in the rut?

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