The situation at Bhatta-Parsaul and adjoining villages didn’t happen in a day. It happened due to a series of events over the last 11 years. Here is a chronological history of what happened.
1976 – The UPIAD Act
- U.P. Industrial Area Development Act, 1976 came into force on 1.4.1976.
- The object of this Act is planned development of certain notified areas in the State by building up integrated industrial townships.
- The State Government is empowered there under to declare the industrial development area and this Act empowers the authority to acquire the land by direct purchase or through State (under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894).
- Under Section 7 of the said Act, the authority is empowered to allot its properties, by way of lease or otherwise, on such terms and conditions as it may deem fit.
2001 – Taj Expressway IDA
- An authority called Taj Expressway Industrial Development Authority came to be constituted under this Act dated 24.4.2001.
- The first notification for the project was issued by Rajnath Singh (CM from 28-Oct-2000 to 8-Mar-2002) on April 21, 2001 in which 8 villages were notified.
- The second notification was issued on August 22, 2001 which covered 182 villages.
- The total number of villages notified under the project during Rajnath Singh’s term was 190.
2007 – 2011 – Mayawati takes over as CM – Adds 1000 more villages to scope
- Mayawati took over as the CM of UP on May 13, 2007
- The UP Government issued the first notification under her term (third for the project) on August 27, 2007 which added 18 villages to the project.
- The UP Government issued the second notification of her term (fourth for the project) on November 12, 2007 which incorporated 125 villages.
- The UP government issued the fifth notification on February 8, 2008 which put an additional 8 villages in the project.
- The biggest notification, however, was issued on July 21, 2009 when the state govt notified the inclusion of 850 villages into the project (Aligarh 88, Mahamaya Nagar 420, Mathura 315, Agra 27). This takes the total number of villages under the project to 1191. A total of 1001 villages have been included into the project during Mayawati’s present term in office.
- The scope of the project increased from 580 sq km in Phase 1 to include more than 2106 sq km in 900 villages as part of Phase 2.
The Name changes from Taj to Yamuna Expressway
- This Authority changed its nomenclature and became Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (‘YEIDA’ for short) vide Notification dated 11.7.2008.
- This was with intent to develop the Eastern Side of the river Yamuna by construction of a 6 lane Expressway joining Noida to Agra and also for development of five regions along the said Expressway into a planned industrial development area for residential, industrial, institutional or recreational purposes.
- The industrial development area was also notified on 24.4.2001, which then comprised of 8 villages. Later on, vide notification dated 22.8.2001, as many as 63 No. of villages including the village of some of the appellants were also included.
- By further notifications, some more villages were also notified as part of industrial development area. The area was in 4 districts, namely, Gautam Budh Nagar, Agra, Mathura and Aligarh.
The project almost didn’t happen
- After the constitution of the Authority, public notices for global tenders were issued in 2001 inviting bids from interested parties desirous of implementing the Project of the said 6 lane Expressway and the building of the townships on Build, Operate and Transfer model.
- This Project, however, did not proceed, as there was no eligible bidder and ultimately, the selection process was dropped.
The rules of the game change
- Subsequently, in November, 2002, fresh bids were invited on the same principles, but with an option either to enter into a joint venture (JV) with the YEIDA or to implement the said Project without any equity partition of the said Authority.
- In the Bid Document, the necessity of the major highway connecting New Delhi with Mathura and Agra was reiterated with the objectives
- (i) to provide a fast moving corridor to minimize the travel time
- (ii) to connect the main townships/commercial centres on the Eastern Side of Yamuna, and
- (iii) to relieve NH-2 which was already congested and ran through the heart of cities like Faridabad, Ballabhgarh and Palwal.
- It was informed to the interested parties that the proposed Expressway was to be about 160 Kms. in length shortening the distance between Noida and Agra with an estimated cost of US $ 350 million.
- It was also informed that the Expressway was to pass through virgin area along the river Yamuna and that a band of 500 meters width of land at five or more locations, of which one location was to be in Noida or Greater Noida area along the Expressway, would be offered on acquisition cost along the corridor as an integral part of the Project.
- It was further informed that in addition to the land for the Expressway, 25 million square meters of land along the Expressway would be given at acquisition cost for development of the same for commercial, amusement, industrial, institutional and residential purposes.
- Bids were invited from all the interested parties having experience in the construction/development of infrastructure Projects, including real estate development and it was informed that the selected developer would be offered 25 millions square meters of land for development on acquisition cost on lease for a period of 90 years.
- It was also informed that the concession period would be for 7 years from the date of signing of the Concession Agreement and all the assets related to the Expressway were to stand transferred on the date of signing of the Concession Agreement in favour of such a successful bidder.
- The Bid Document also provided that the successful bidder would have the right to levy, collect and retain toll from the public using the Expressway during the concession period.
- The tender of Jaiprakash Industries Ltd. was accepted and thus they became the successful bidder as they had claimed the lowest concession period of 36 years.
The courts get involved
The Concession Agreement dated 7.2.2003 also came to be executed between the parties. However, before the work could start, the whole Project got stuck in litigation, upon which the Enquiry Commission was appointed by the State Government under the Chairmanship of Mr. Justice Siddheshwar Narain (Retd.).
- Before that, two Commissions of sub enquiries were constituted.
- While the Report of the first Commission was quashed by the Allahabad High Court, the second Commission of Enquiry could not proceed at all, as the Members resigned.
- Ultimately, Mr. Justice Siddheshwar Narain (Retd.) completed the enquiry and submitted his Report in October, 2006.
- Thereafter, as has already been pointed out earlier, a Public Interest Litigation came to be filed by way of a Writ Petition before the Allahabad High Court, which was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court.
6 years later, the work finally starts.
It was thereafter that the process of land acquisition commenced in September, 2007.
- In the first phase, land for Expressway was acquired.
- Subsequently, the acquisition process started for the land for development.