Greater Noida Authority hikes land rates
After paying increased compensation amounts to farmers, Greater Noida Authority has now found a way to tide over its cash crunch. At its board meeting on Friday, Authority CEO Rama Raman announced a substantial hike in the price of all categories of land. Also, officials confirmed that the Authority is likely to impose some extra burden on builders and individual allottees as they will soon "announce a hike in the price of land that has already been allotted."
Raman said residential plots in Greater Noida will be dearer by almost Rs 4,000 per sqm while for commercial and institutional plots an extra Rs 8,750 and Rs 2,025 per sqm, respectively, will be charged. Incidentally, three months back, the Greater Noida Authority had hiked land rates by 12.5 per cent.
"The hike in rates was essential considering our current funds shortage. The land row has imposed an extra burden on the Authority in the form of enhanced compensation and rehabilitation packages for the farmers who agreed upon a compromise. Besides, many development projects had to be stalled temporarily," Raman said. In Patwari alone, the Authority and builders have already incurred expenditure of Rs 300 crore in order to reach a compromise with the farmers. Now more funds will be required to pay off farmers in other villages if they accept the Patwari pact.
Already in debt of Rs 4,000 crore and several development projects in limbo in the Noida Extension-Greater Noida area, the Authority is now mulling with giving out plotted land to framers instead of a hiked compensation. If any farmer is unwilling to accept the same, he would be given hiked compensation only when the Authority has the required funds. "Going by the Patwari pact, we will have to pay a compensation amount totalling Rs 3,000 crore," said Raman.
Meanwhile, developers tried to put up a brave face. Most claimed that they will have no choice but to pay the hiked amount, but added they will "try to ensure that buyers who have already made bookings are not affected." Anil Sharma, CMD Amrapali Group and vice president of CREDAI-NCR, said if builders shared the burden of increased compensation "future booking would cost more. We will ensure that existing buyers are not hit." Other builders said if the rate of land allotments carried out already was hiked, even existing buyers would have to pay more.
"The hike seems quite steep. It will discourage development as well as the developers who come to Greater Noida," said Getamber Anand, VP CREDAI. "It will also be difficult to sell property at these prices. Also, if the Authority increases prices for existing allotments, the builders will land in a very difficult situation," Anand said.