HUDA struggles with a legal tussle
Two months ago it was reported that a ground-breaking auction by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority raked in over Rs700 crore for 65 acres of land. Today, 15 companies, which spent more than Rs10 crore an acre for this property, cannot take possession of it as HUDA struggles with a legal tussle, reports CNBC-TV18.
Kokrapet village is about 20 kilometres outside Hyderabad. When HUDA auctioned this land it got three times the original price. It justified that by promising its buyers world-class infrastructure and clean ownership titles. Now, two months later, the land has no infrastructure and its ownership is in dispute.
Jayesh Ranjan, vice chairman, HUDA, says, "It is unfortunate that a private individual has filed a claim before the honourable High Court of AP that this land was given to his ancestors by the Nizam and he is therefore the owner of the land."
The High Court has ordered a status quo on the land until the matter is settled. That means HUDA cannot start work on internal infrastructure here and the road that will connect it to the city. That also means HUDA cannot keep its promise to have the infrastructure facilities ready in six months.
Bangalore-based India Builders is one of 15 companies that bought land here. It has approached the AP High Court for a refund of Rs35 crore that it paid HUDA and permission to withdraw from the auction. Sources say other companies may follow suit but the authority is confident it can hang on to its buyers.
Jayesh Ranjan says that they are absolutely confident that when the hearing resumes after the court holidays, they will win the case and be able to hand over the land to the successful bidders of the auction.
But buyers like Prestige Group, Hiranandani and My Home Constructions are weighing their options. They face difficulties in raising finance to develop the land. Besides the ownership issue might rear its head again. One more hurdle in the SEZ saga.