The builders used this to trap farmers to sell their land at much less than the market prices.
“The then government followed a devious modus operandi of first issuing notifications with the intent to acquire land for public purpose, creating a sense of fear among the farmers that they would end up getting low compensation. The builders used this to trap farmers to sell their land at much less than the market prices. The notifications were cancelled soon after the land was acquired,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.
The most glaring example of this was the government withdrawing two land-acquisition notifications in August 2007 for 680 acres of land in Manesar. This was part of the 912 acres for which the Hooda government had issued a land-acquistion notification to set up a model industrial township. But the notifications were withdrawn just a day before the last date for completion of all formalities (August 24, 2007). This was the first such withdrawal of a land-acquisition notifications in Haryana’s history.
On October 3, 2007, TOI had first exposed the episode with a report describing how the decision had put paid to a plan of Haryana Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) to provide housing facilities for poor industrial workers. Even HSIIDC officials had suggested foul play in the case.
In many such cases, private developers allegedly made a windfall from the government’s “flawed” acquisitive instinct as, fearing lower compensation rates from the state, land owners sold their plots at rates much lower than market rates.