Monday, January 31, 2011

HC ropes in Centre in land scam

HC ropes in Centre in land scam by babus
Senior Bureaucrats Accused Of Converting SSNNL Plot Into Pvt Land
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court has made the Centre a party in the case wherein IAS officers are accused of constructing sprawling private bungalows on government land. The court decision came after suspicion was raised on survey done by local revenue authority in the land grabbing case.

A resident of Aalloa village near Gandhinagar had complained to the HC that certain bureaucrats have encroached upon a 92-hectare land plot. They have fraudulently changed revenue records to show the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd plot, allotted for afforestation, as private land, he claimed.

Acting on this petition filed by Ghanshyamsinh Vaghela, a division bench had last year asked the district inspector of land records (DILR) to conduct a survey and find out if the accusations were true. DILR accordingly produced his report before the court and informed that the survey was conducted with latest equipment through satellite mapping. The court asked the authority to conduct the survey using traditional method.

Again, the petitioner alleged that the revenue authority’s survey was not perfect as the offical conducting the survey actually worked under the senior bureaucrats, who have allegedly encroached upon the government land. The petitioner has been presenting photographs of bungalows allegedly built on SSNNL plot. However, the developer — Aalloa Non-Trading Association, have been denying the charges. Moreover, they have expressed no reservation to the court’s suggestion that the land should be measured by an outside agency.

Thus seeking help from the Centre, the bench said, “For proper assistance, we feel it is necessary to implead the Union of India, through the ministry of survey, as the party respondent.” The 92-hectare plot was allotted to SSNL in 1993 for afforestation near Aalloa and Pindarda villages on the Sabarmati riverbank. The land was not returned back to the state government in 2007 as per terms of the contract to green the area. HC has scheduled further hearing for February 7.

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