3 years later, no headway in land acquisition scam - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

3 years later, no headway in land acquisition scam


3 years later, no headway in land acquisition scam

Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, August 12

Three years after a multi-crore land acquisition scam that came to fore during the construction of the Bathinda-Amritsar National Highway (NH-15), there has been no headway in the case. Several facts had emerged in the case following an inquiry by the then ADC, Vineet Kumar.

Earlier, several revenue officials, including naib tehsildaar, three kanungos, four patwaris and some sarpanches had been indicted in the inquiry into the scam, which reportedly caused crores of loss to the state exchequer. Even a retired SDM-rank official and his staff members had been reportedly found guilty in overlooking certain facts in the matter.

In his report, the ADC had brought out several discrepancies during the acquisition of land in Zira subdivision, which included payment to the deceased land owners, erroneous calculations in payable amount, change in type of land from agriculture to commercial, variation in payment to owners with same share in landholding and payment to farmers whose land had already been acquired earlier, besides other fraudulent transactions which ran into crores.

In Khadoor village, the land owners were paid Rs 2.45 crore for the part of land which had already been acquired as the previous mutation had not been executed. Similarly, in Sihapari village the farmers were paid Rs 1.45 crore extra by showing the land as commercial instead of agricultural. The inquiry had further found that the land owners were given payments without checking their identity proofs due to which the payment was released to several “dead” persons.

In at least three cases in Khadoor village, the actual land owners identified as Boor Singh, Fhuman Singh and Ghuman Singh had already died. However, the money was allegedly shown deposited in their account and later withdrawn.

In the same village, Sadha Singh and Dalsher Singh, who had 50 per cent share in the notified land, were paid Rs 4.69 lakh, whereas Sukhchain Singh, who had one-fourth share, was also paid the same amount.

Ironically, Uttam Singh, who owned rest of one-fourth share, was paid Rs 30.22 lakh. Here, a part of 7 kanal and 17 marla was acquired for 44.31 lakh, whereas its total tentative cost was Rs 41.8 lakh.

Similarly in another case, Inderjit Singh was paid Rs 6.56 lakh for one-third share of land, whereas Gurbachan Singh was allegedly paid Rs 22.82 lakh for his one-tenth share.

The then DC, Ramvir, had asked the authorities concerned to issue the notice for recovery to those land owners who had been released excess payments. Ramvir had also recommended strict disciplinary action against them to the state government and had also written to the Secretary (Personnel) and ACS (Revenue) for initiating action against the erring revenue officials.

Sources said since that time most of the officials had changed and no further action was taken against anyone in this scam. Deputy Commissioner Chander Gaind said he was not aware of any such scam, but would look into the matter.


Probe had confirmed irregularities

  • In his report, the ADC had brought out several discrepancies during the acquisition of land in Zira subdivision.
  • These included payment to the deceased land owners, erroneous calculations in payable amount, change in type of land from agriculture to commercial
  • Besides, other fraudulent transactions running into crores of rupees, were detected.
  • At Khadoor village, the land owners were paid Rs 2.45 crore for the part of land which had already been acquired as the previous mutation had not been executed. 
  • At Sihapari village the farmers were paid Rs 1.45 crore extra by showing the land as commercial instead of agricultural. 

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