In a boost to the legal battle being fought by the residents of National Media Centre (NMC) against the Haryana Urban Development Authority for allegedly usurping over two-acres of their green belt for a sector road widening project, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed any construction activity on the disputed land till the next hearing on September 20.

The High Court bench comprising Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice G. S. Sandhawalia has also asked HUDA to reply whether any compensation was paid to the petitioner before taking away the land for widening of the sector road. The Court also directed HUDA to file an affidavit whether notification had ever been issued under the Land Acquisition Act to acquire green belt land for widening of roads.

The Court said it had come to its notice that in some cases notifications under Section 4 and 6 were issued under the Land Acquisition Act to acquire green belt land for road widening as per conditions of the licence to construct.

One of the petitioners in the case, Sunil Mehta, said: “The land in question belongs to NMC Co-operative House Building Society Ltd. and the HUDA can take this land for maintenance purposes only. But they cannot change its land use. In this case, the HUDA has taken our land and further given it on lease to IL&FS and DLF. The land can be acquired only through a procedure laid in the Land Acquisition Act.”

The Rs.550-crore DLF-HUDA sector road widening project covers a distance of 8.3 km on Sector Road and 2.2 km on NH-8.