The Noida neighbourhood where I stay has finally made it to prime-time television. People from Delhi and Gurgaon want to be shown around. Friends and family from distant cities want to know if everything they have been watching on television and reading in the newspapers is true.
You see, this is where Yadav Singh, the former chief engineer of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway, stays. (As chief engineer, he had the authority to approve public projects of up to Rs 1 crore.)
All colony guards know the way to his kothi. Many of them are ready to leak gossip about him - without baksheesh.
That's because of the fabulous riches the income-tax authorities are reported to have recovered from him in recent searches: expensive cars, Rs 15 crore stashed away in an SUV parked outside his house, diamonds worth Rs 100 crore, two kilogrammes of gold jewellery and papers that suggest he owns several properties.
At the moment these are just allegations, and the charges of political patronage and caste vendetta have really muddied the waters, but it could well be yet another instance of black money finding its way into real estate.
Text: Bhupesh Bhandari, Business Standard
Image courtesy: Reuters