PIL stalls housing project of Eros Group worth 5000 cr
Ajay Enterprise Pvt. Ltd. (AEPL), which is a part of Eros Group of Companies, was granted a license bearing No. 20 of 2013 by Director General, Town & Country Planning (DGTCP), Haryana to develop a Group Housing Colony on the project land measuring 52.825 acres at Sector 43, Faridabad.
Faridabad is one of the largest Satellite Towns of New Delhi and it has vast scale Industries as well as Residential Development. To develop this 5000 cr project, AEPL had also entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Bharti Realty Ltd., which is Airtel Group Company. Everybody was hoping that this development would have brought world class housing project very close to Delhi border at a reasonable price. However, the said project became a target of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed before the Hon’ble National Green Tribunal (NGT).
In March, 2019, the NGT had passed an order declaring the project land to be a “Deemed Forest”. Since then AEPL filed a Petition before Hon’ble Supreme Court of India wherein the bench headed by justice ‘Rohinton Fali Nariman’ was pleased to order that all permissions granted to AEPL for its proposed project were to remain valid.
“Due to obstruction on construction at sector 43 project since 2013, the project cost has escalated Rs. 5000 cr in present scenario.” says Avneesh Sood- Director, EROS Group.
He revealed “Recently, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has seized the matter while admitting the Appeal filed by the land owners i.e. Eros Group, as well as, State of Haryana and ordered that the permissions granted to the project not to be cancelled, clearly indicating that the order passed by Hon’ble NGT is wrong in the eyes of law. If India is to grow and generate more jobs, then our Courts must stop giving judgments merely on public perceptions on the behest of so-called Environmentalists”.
He further added “We have to find a middle path wherein human lives can be benefitted from the environment and vice-versa. Stalling projects, with all legitimate permissions, will create not only a fear factor among the business fraternity, but also discourage them to venture into new projects. Therefore, the present decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court is most laudable and welcomed”.
A letter dated 08.11.2006 was issued by the Deputy Conservator of Forest (Faridabad) to the Director Town and Country Planning (Govt. of Haryana) wherein it is an uncontroverted fact that “the subject land is neither a protected, reserved, recorded or unclassified forest”. It also clearly states that the land is neither notified under Section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 (‘PLP Act, 1900’) nor previously closed under the said Act by a special order. The project land has been a part of the residential zone as per the successive master plans issued since 1982 after due process of law and after inviting objections from the public.
Documents with the Company in its revert to PIL further proves that the land falls within the revenue estate of Village Sarai Khawaja which is part of Faridabad Master Plan for more than 35 years, whereby it has been indicated as Sector 43 which has been categorized in the residential zone of Master Plan of 1982 onwards till date. It is further important to state that the subject land forming part of the Sector 43 has been categorized in the Residential Zone of Master Plan of 2011 and also in the draft Master Plan of 2031. Thus, the subject land cannot be classified to be as Forest. In fact, the project land is surrounded by fully developed housing projects on all sides.