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Haryana defends DLF land transfer after HC order

Posted on Sep 05 2014 | IANS

Chandigarh, Sep 4 : A day after the Punjab and Haryana High Court set aside the transfer of nearly 350 acres of prime land in Gurgaon to realty major DLF by the Haryana government, the state government Thursday defended its decision claiming that things were done in a "transparent" manner.

Top bureaucrats of the Haryana government, including additional Chief Secretary - Industries, Y.S. Malik, Principal Secretary, Town and Country Planning, T.C. Gupta, and principal secretaries to Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, S.S. Dhillon and K.K. Khandelwal, told media here that "proper procedure was followed" in the transfer of the land to DLF and that it was done in a "transparent" manner.

The high court had Wednesday quashed the transfer of the 350-acres of land, for which DLF agreed to pay Rs 1,750 crore, and directed the Haryana government to cancel the allotment. The high court's decision was seen as a major blow to the Hooda government in the assembly poll-bound state and also to DLF.

However, the high court upheld the acquisition of the same land by the Haryana government. It also allowed the land to be auctioned in future and did not debar DLF from participating.

The state government said that the land (278 acres) was notified for acquisition for "Development of Recreational/Leisure Project and other public utilities" on August 8, 2003.

"M/s IL and FS Infrastructure Development Corpn. Ltd. were engaged as consultants in 2008 for assessment of land cost/preparation of all documents for handholding the HSIIDC for auction," the government claimed.

The consultant, based on the then prevailing market price, valued the land at Rs. 1,683 crore. The reserve price was fixed at Rs.1,700 crore by the state government and a scheme was floated in 2009 for open bidding. Only one bid, from DLF, was received by the deadline date.

The scheme, after making certain changes to make the project viable, was re-advertised, in July 2009 and three bids, including from one DLF, were received. Other bidders included a consortium led by Malaysian company, Country Heights Holdings, Berhad (Malaysia) and a consortium led by M/s Unitech Ltd.

After evaluation, the other two bids were rejected and DLF was allotted the land in February 2010.

Malik said that an interlocutory application was pending before the Supreme Court for its approval for non-forestry use of the allotted land.

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