Chief vigilance officer raids LIT over land row

Not a single penny received for 26 years for land worth crores

After an RTI application revealed that land worth crores was allotted for peanuts in J-block, BRS Nagar, chief vigilance officer V P Singh raided the premises of Ludhiana Improvement Trust on Monday.

"The final report after investigation was submitted to the local bodies department of the state government on Tuesday, and is completely confidential till they reply back. The inquiry is complete and action will be taken soon," V P Singh told The Indian Express.

Executive officer Avtar Singh Azad has also been held answerable in the scam, according to a source from the Vigilance Bureau.

The reply to an RTI application, filed by city-based RTI activist Arvind Sharma on August 6, revealed that "LIT has allotted a prime piece of land to a registered body J-block Council at the rate of Rs 51 per square yard in 1985 but not even a single penny has been deposited by the Council till date. LIT has taken no action against the council till date''.

Sharma had got no reply to the RTI application for a month after which he moved the first appellate authority. He was about to move the second appellate authority when the reply finally arrived on November 26.

Reportedly, LIT allotted 3,556 yards of land to J-block Council on September 16, 1985 and asked the council to pay one-fourth of the total payment. After the council failed to pay even a single instalment, notices were issued from 1986 to 1990, and finally LIT forfeited the land in 1990 after no payment was received.

The land, currently worth around Rs 16 crore (60,000 per yards approx), has been under the encroachment of the council since 1990 on which they have illegally built two halls and made it operational as 'community centre'. The council is even earning money by organising functions in the centre.

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