The long-stalled Noida Sports City project is set to receive renewed attention as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Uttar Pradesh state assembly takes steps to reignite its progress. The Noida Authority, responsible for the project, has issued notices to two developers and requested an updated map outlining internationally-standardized sports facilities on 70 percent of the remaining land under their jurisdiction. Officials familiar with the matter reveal that the PAC’s intervention seeks to gather crucial details about available land in the designated sectors, aimed at facilitating developers in resuming work that has remained stagnant since 2021.
Originally conceptualized over a decade ago, the Sports City project was envisioned as a comprehensive complex encompassing residential units and commercial developments (30 percent), harmonized with world-class sports facilities (70 percent). However, various setbacks have resulted in a prolonged delay, exceeding 12 years.
The PAC’s proactive measures stem from a commitment to safeguard the interests of homebuyers affected by the project’s hiatus. This move is poised to bring relief to numerous homebuyers who have invested in diverse Sports City projects, hindered by the primary developer’s failure to fulfill the sports facilities requirements mandated by Noida’s Sports City scheme.
Construction within the project’s designated sectors (78, 79, and 101) came to a halt in 2021 due to the primary developer’s inability to adhere to the lease agreement’s terms, which mandated the development of sports facilities across 70 percent of the land area. A senior official from the Noida Authority underscores the government’s commitment to resolving the impasse, aiming to provide a viable solution that prevents undue hardships for homebuyers.
“In July 2023, the PAC issued directives, urging us to submit an affidavit within 15 days outlining the availability of land within the Sports City projects. This land would be dedicated to the development of the stipulated 70 percent sports facilities, thereby allowing the completion of pending projects,” the official revealed anonymously in a conversation with Moneycontrol.
The directive’s objective, outlined during the aforementioned PAC meeting, centers on revitalizing stalled projects within Sports City. This entails not only the resumption of construction but also the establishment of necessary amenities, all in favor of the homebuyers. The Sports City scheme initially allocated land parcels spanning 150 to 200 acres across sectors 78, 79, and 150, with additional allotments in Sectors 101 and 152. These parcels were intended to host cricket, tennis, and swimming academies, accompanied by a nine-hole golf course. While Three C Universal Developers, Lotus Greens group, Logix Infra Developer, and ATS Homes received these allocations, Three C and Logix are presently navigating the corporate insolvency resolution process.
In adherence to the scheme’s parameters, 70 percent of the area was designated for recreational and sports facilities, while 10 percent was allocated for commercial infrastructure, and 20 percent was earmarked for residential plots or group housing initiatives.
In response to the PAC’s directives, the Noida Authority has issued notices to two of the four developers involved (their identities remaining undisclosed). The notices request a revised map, detailing internationally-compliant sports facilities, to occupy 70 percent of the remaining land. Simultaneously, developers have been prompted to provide an affidavit confirming the availability of ample land for green spaces and sports amenities.
As a supplementary measure, the authority has established a three-member subcommittee tasked with assessing concerns raised in a December 2019 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report. This report highlighted the Sports City scheme’s adverse impact, estimating losses of Rs 9,000 crore to the exchequer, and the allocation of plots worth Rs 4,500 crore to entities falling short of the requisite technical eligibility criteria in terms of net worth, turnover, and past experience. The subcommittee’s role is pivotal in rectifying these issues and ensuring a more viable and beneficial approach to the project’s execution.