Urban planning officials of Noida, a booming industrial township in Uttar Pradesh, granted undue benefits of more than ₹ 9,000 crore to the allottees of Sports City plots, to the corresponding detriment of New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA).
For the failures in meeting the stated objectives of creating a Sports City and the huge losses caused to NOIDA, the government should consider taking exemplary action against the delinquent officers, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India noted.
Analysing The Loopholes In Brief
The report said that the project gave priority to housing over sports infrastructure and none of the sports facilities in the complex has been completed even though the stipulated period for completion of the facilities in the four plots was between October 2016 and December 2019. Apart from this two groups of a housing project in the scheme have been given a completion certificate.
The organisation prioritised the development of group housing projects within the Sports City while placing sports-related development on the back -burner. The facilities intended have either not materialised at all or those created are in complete violation of the Board’s vision, stated the report.
As per technical eligibility criteria specified in the scheme brochure, the bidder should have executed a minimum of two completed projects related to real estate development and construction activities of a minimum of 10 lakh sq ft in aggregate during the last five years. The sole criterion NOIDA relied upon while inviting bids and determining the eligibility of the bidders, was experience in developing real estate projects.
There was no consultation from any Sports Authority or organisation to decide on the specifications of sports infrastructure. The brochures of the scheme also had no specifications regarding sports facilities leading to the allotment of plots to entities not having the necessary experience, CAG said.
The audit observed that NOIDA had given incentive to the developers in terms of reduced prices for plots and allowing extra Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and Ground Coverage (GC) for developing sports infrastructure.