Monday, April 24, 2017

30 years on, Trust shirks payment,Bhai Randhir Singh Trust encroached govt land, committed other irregularities, reveals RTI info.

The Tribune‎‎: Ludhiana: Monday, April 24, 2017.
A Trust set up in the name of great patriot, freedom fighter and Sikh theologian Bhai Randhir Singh, after whom the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) named its 550 acre colony Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, has courted controversy over land allotted some 30 years ago.
The Trust has not only defaulted in the payment of cost of 1.89 acre land to LIT, but has also allegedly encroached upon 1,324 square yard government land, including 79 square yards from out of a public street.
It is also charged with using land for other purposes than those for which land was allotted and violation of building bylaws.
Information obtained under the Right to Information Act by a city-based RTI activist Baljeet Singh made startling revelation that Bhai Randhir Singh Trust had failed to make payment of balance 75 per cent amount towards the cost of 1.89 acre land allotted by LIT at a reserve price of Rs 65 per square yard for more than 30 years now.
According to LIT officials, notices were repeatedly issued to the said Trust for payment of outstanding amount of around Rs 24.70 lakh, which includes 75 per cent cost of land, penalty and interest on default amount, which evoked no response.
Information provided by LIT says that as far back as in 1995, through a official memo (no 1387 dated March 29, 1995), the Director, Local Government, Punjab, was intimated that after the allotment of 1.89 acre of land, Bhai Randhir Singh Trust had deposited only 25 per cent of the total cost of land.
The government was also informed that the Trust had commenced construction work of building without any approved building plan and further that 1,324 square yard land, including 79 square yard part of a 60 feet wide public street, had been encroached upon by the said Trust. As per LIT record, the land was allotted to the Trust for running a Kirtan Vidyalaya, a Senior Citizen Home, a community langar hall, a gurdwara, a sarovar and a printing press.
“However, none of these activities are being carried out by the Trust and instead, a senior secondary school, a tennis academy and other educational institutions which are commercial in nature are operating from the building. Moreover, building constructed without an approved plan is illegal,” says a notice issued by LIT to the said Trust.
In a representation to the state government, Baljeet Singh demanded that the allotment of land to the Trust be cancelled for default in payment, illegal change of land use, violation of building bylaws and other irregularities. At the same time, government land and part of public street under encroachment by the Trust, be also cleared in the larger public interest, he said.