By Neeraj Mahajan
On Nov 5, 2015 the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) invited the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone of the incomplete and non-existent Eastern Peripheral Expressway which exists only in files.
The fact of the case is that NHAI does not own or have possession of the entire lands along the 135-km long stretch where the Eastern Expressway is supposed to be built.
It is one of the worst case of mis-management right from the beginning. The whole project has mishandled right from the start.
According to informed sources, instead of doing surveys on ground the whole project was haphazardly planned on the drawing board and air-conditioned rooms using google maps. As a result the planners did not have an idea about what existed on the ground where they were planning the highway.
As a result the khasra numbers – used to identify a land in the revenue records and the highway documents did not match. All this happened during 2008 when Dr Abha Gupta was the Additional District Magistrate (Land Acquisition) in Ghaziabad. Dr Gupta reportedly drafted atleast four hard-hitting letters to the NHAI complaining about the inadequate surveys and mis-matching khasra and shizra numbers.
Taazakhabar News is in possession of four such hard hitting letters penned by Dr Abha Gupta. How the NHAI reacted to her criticism is not known but one thing is for sure Dr Abha Gupta was transferred out of her post.
The ADM (LAs) who followed her subtly got the message that they were supposed to toe the line and let things be. As a result NHAI had its way without much resistance from the local district authorities.
Here is evidence how facts were fudged with or without the active compliance of the district authorities.
Reproduced above is a khatauni (official land record). It clearly mentions that NHAI took over passion of the land as of January 28, 2012.
This is not true Kartar Singh the actual owner still holds physical passion of the land and pays the electricity usage bills – which are proofs of his physical possession.
There are many other similar cases where the land ownerships have been changed on paper in the official records without negotiated settlement of price or acceptance from the original owner.
NHAI’s action to change the official land ownership records without the actual owner’s knowledge and consent amounts to fraud.