The erstwhile Bahujan Samaj Party government's decision to transfer over 500 acres of land to the Noida Authority in 2009 has resulted in a whopping Rs 2,600 crore loss to the state exchequer, the Comptroller General of India has pointed out.
In its report for the year ended March 31, 2011, the CAG has rapped the irrigation department for carrying out the land transfer bypassing the revenue department and described it as an act of "non-compliance with rules and regulations".
The report has pointed out that the state irrigation department had in January-May, 2009, transferred and allowed the possession of 501.92 acres of land to the Noida Authority "for development purposes" "without recovering full value of the land from the Authority."
Even though a government order passed in January, 2009, had directed for completing "all the requisite legal formalities, including realisation of full cost of land at the prevailing circle rate by the Irrigation Department, before the registration and transfer of possession of land in favour of the Authority".
"As per the state financial rules, all government land and immovable property should ordinarily be sold through the Revenue Department," the report has stated.
The report further states that the total value of the land as worked out in audit on the basis of prevailing circle rate was Rs 2,697.17 crore.
Moreover, as against a demand raised for payment of Rs 150 crore in advance the authority had paid only Rs 65 crore by March, 2009.
The concerned executive engineer sought to shift the responsibility of transfer of the land to the government saying in March 2010 that the decisions had been taken at the government level.
It was also stated that the valuation of the land was yet to be finalised.
"The reply was not acceptable as the Government Order for realising full value of land before transfer and possession of land was not observed," the CAG said.
During discussions held in November 2011, "while admitting the facts the government stated that the land would be registered in favour of the Authority after realising full value in ten years.
"The reply was not acceptable as the fact remained that the land was transferred without realising full value," the CAG added.
"Thus, due to transfer of 501.92 acres of land belonging to the department without realising full value at the prevailing circle rates led to loss of Rs 2,632.19 crore to the government," the report concluded.
Earlier on June 15, state Irrigation Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav had told the Vidhan Sabha that he wanted the land be given back to the irrigation department, as the Noida authority is likely to give this land to builders.