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‘Why land given to firm linked to Vadra?’

Anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal. File photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal. File photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

Haryana government must explain why it allowed change of land use

Maintaining his position on the alleged “mala fide nexus” between the Haryana government and realty major DLF, India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday refused to accept the State’s contention that there was no wrong-doing, saying questions remained on why land was given to a company linked to Robert Vadra.

Change of land-use

Mr. Kejriwal said the Haryana government’s statement accepted that 30 acres of land acquired for residential purpose was given to East India Hotels Limited for building a hospital in 1995 and that the company did not do so till 2005. But no action was taken against it nor was the land taken back.

On the other hand, the government allowed it to sell the land to DLF even when there was a clear change of land-use to setting up a SEZ in which Robert Vadra’s company bought stakes.

“Why did the Haryana government allow change of land-use from a hospital to DLF SEZ in which Mr. Vadra’s company acquires a 50 per cent stake, which he sells back after a year, raising suspicion about the motive behind the sale of this piece of land?”

Rebutting the allegations, Haryana on Tuesday said the land was released to East India Hotels Ltd. more than 16 years ago and permission was granted to sell the land to DLF “after following the due process of law.” The matter, it said, was sub judice.

On increasing the floor area ratio for DLF project, the Haryana government said the density in the two master plans of Gurgaon-Manesar complex was the same and it was only the unit that changes i.e. persons per acre in plan 2025 and persons per hectare in plan 2031.

Attempt to divert from main issue

Refuting this, Mr. Kejriwal said in a statement that the IAC had gone through both the plans and their respective notifications. “Nowhere do they mention the unit of ‘person per acre.’ In both the plans, the density was mentioned in persons per hectare. Once again the government had made an attempt to divert from the main issue.”

“The point in focus is that the special pocket carved out in Gurgaon, which is allowed to have a density of 2.5 times more than the average, has its boundary same as the boundary of DLF Phase V. Incidentally, the same phase has the DLF projects of Magnolia and Aralias, where Robert Vadra has many property in his companies’ name.”

“Is it then not very clear that the increased density in Gurgaon Master Plan is one of the quid pro quo for DLF, which has been selling property at throwaway prices to Vadra in the same area?” he alleged.

Interest-free loans

The IAC has alleged that DLF gave Mr. Vadra interest-free loans and under-priced apartments in Gurgaon.

In turn, IAC said, the Haryana government violated norms to grant land to DLF for massive commercial projects.

Mr. Vadra, DLF and the State government have refuted the accusations.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:22:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/%E2%80%98Why-land-given-to-firm-linked-to-Vadra%E2%80%99/article12552502.ece

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