Punjab and Haryana High Court paves way for storing foodgrain at Sangrur site - ECAS Punjab

Punjab and Haryana High Court paves way for storing foodgrain at Sangrur site

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has paved way for utilising 4 acres on the Sangrur-Ubhawal road for storing foodgrain kept "in low lying vulnerable area". The Bench, during the course of arguments, was told that "miscreants" had not allowed the storage "due to some political reasons".

Justice Raj Mohan Singh asserted it would be just and appropriate to direct the state and other respondents to ensure storage of foodgrain by Pungrain on the plinth to prevent "great financial loss" to the organisation and the petitioner-owner and also to ensure law and order situation at the site. "This arrangement, however, would be subject to final outcome of the writ petition after hearing all stakeholders...," Justice Raj Mohan Singh added.

The matter was brought to the High Court's notice after a petition was filed against the state government and other respondents by owner Sanjay Garg through senior counsel Chetan Mittal, Kunal Mulwani and Sehej Sandhawalia. In his detailed order, Justice Raj Mohan Singh observed that the stand taken by the state and Pungrain appeared to be at variance to some extent. It was despite the fact that Pungrain was also a functionary of the state.

Referring to stand taken by Pungrain, Justice Raj Mohan Singh observed the organisation, among other things, stated that it started "utilisation of plinth by taking over and storing foodgrain by way of unloading the trucks". But, there was a strong protest by the inhabitants of Shiv Nagar Ram Nagar Basti.

The state counsel said labour and trucks were requisitioned for the storage of wheat on the plinth on August 6. At the time of loading crates and wheat, some of the labourers were found to be unwell. They were sent to the Civil Hospital for testing samples. "Unless the report is received, the work of loading/unloading was not to be done by the labour union," the Bench was told.

Intervening on behalf of Basti residents, senior counsel Akshay Bhan, submitted the site could not be used for commercial purpose as the change of land use was not obtained by the petitioner from Sangrur Municipal Committee. Mittal submitted the site was situated in Sangrur revenue estate and the petitioner was using it for the "subject purpose" since 1996. The site, as per notified master plan, fell in the industrial area.

Before parting with the order, Justice Raj Mohan Singh said the violation in terms of master plan or CLU would be dealt with by the Municipal Council, Sangrur, in accordance with law.



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