File on ‘illegalities’ in road project goes missing from Sangrur office - ECAS Punjab

File on ‘illegalities’ in road project goes missing from Sangrur office

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Parvesh Sharma

Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 17

A file pertaining to the change of nature of land, acquired between 2012 and 2015 for the widening of the National Highway-7, has gone missing from the Sangrur Administrative Complex (SAC). This came to light after the Department of Personnel, Punjab, sought a report from the Sangrur Deputy Commission (DC) and initiate action against the officials concerned, who changed the nature of land illegally.

Despite the verification of land price at Rs 53.01 crore in violation of the norms, not a single official has faced any action yet. Interestingly, the file has gone missing from the office of the Sangrur ADC (General), located at the SAC, after Sangrur DC Ramvir directed him to study the matter thoroughly and prepare a report. Some officials involved in the process of land acquisition are still posted here.

"We are verifying if someone has deliberately hidden the file. I cannot share more details as an inquiry is going on," DC Ramvir said.

Sources said the Central Government had issued a notification under the National Highway Act on June 23, 2015, to acquire land in 25 villages — from Kalajhar village on the Sangrur-Patiala road to Dugga village on the Sangrur-Barnala road. On December 11, 2015, the authorities had issued a 3-D notification under the Act to acquire the land. The first meeting of the district price fixation committee was organised on April 6, 2016. Later, officials analysed the average rate of the land, which was acquired from 2012 to 2015.

"But during the process, the officials of various departments changed the nature of the land from agricultural to commercial in violation of norms. Some owners were shocked when they got to know that the nature of their land was changed after the officials refused to pay commission," a resident, whose land was also acquired, said.

After an appeal by residents in September 2018, the then Patiala Divisional Commissioner-cum-Arbitrator set aside the change of nature of land done in violation of norms after the issuance of the 3-D notification under the National Highway Act.

from The Tribune

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