Land sharks backed by Akali leaders raked in the moolah by purchasing notified land from the farmers at throwaway prices and then getting huge compensation from the government for the land acquired for the Jalandhar-Chintpurni national highway.
According to official documents procured by activist Rajiv Vashisht under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the land sharks earned more than Rs 50 crore at Piplanwala village situated on the outskirts of Hoshiarpur. Documents reveal that 14.75 acres worth Rs 86 crore was acquired at Piplanwala village on the Hoshiapur-Jalandhar road of which around Rs 77 crore went to land sharks and Akali leaders, who purchased the notified land from the needy farmers. A total of 103 acres was to be acquired for Rs 286 crore in Hoshiarpur district for the project.
“The land acquired at Piplanwala was not a prime land and far from the national highway. But even then, the landowners got Rs 5.77 crore per acre as compensation on an average. Those owning the land along the highway, where the rates are high, got a compensation of Rs 2.77 crore per acre. Isn’t it a scam?” questioned RTI activist Vashisht.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday has demanded a probe by a sitting judge of Punjab & Haryana High Court into the multi crore land scam masterminded by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders in Hoshiarpur district.
AAP Spokesman, Sukhpal Singh Khaira and senior party leader Yamini Gomar, said it has been well known fact in Punjab that Akali leaders with the active connivance and nexus of the Parkash Singh Badal government tailor made several policies to grab farmers’ land at throwaway rates.
” Three Akali leaders which include Hoshiarpur Market Committee Chairman Avtar Singh Johal, councillor Harpinder Gill and district copeprtaive chairman Satwinder pal Singh Dhatt and some of their close aids purchased chunk of agricultural land from farmers in peanuts and later sold the same to Badal government at highly inflated price”.
The four laning highway project from Jalandhar-Hoshiaprur -Chintpurni was already notified and its property rights were transferred to national highway authority (NHA).
Khaira said the aforesaid Akali leaders and their companions connived with Punjab government officials to get higher compensation for the agricultural land by showing it as residential or commercial land.
” This is sheer cheating & forgery not only with the Punjab farmers but also with the state exchequer. Punjab farmers have already been facing heat due to poor agricultural policies of the Badal government and hence often forced to end their lives. The Akali land sharks purchased the land at Rs. 30,000 per marla and sold the same to Punjab government at Rs. 6 Lakh to Rs 10 Lakh per marla. This is a big land scam the Akali leaders have been involved and hence must face law of the land”, said both Khaira and Gomar.
AAP demanded that Badal government should immediately order a probe by a sitting HC judge.” Punjab government should register case against the Akali leaders and their accomplices who are involved in the land scam. The Badal government should recover the money from Akali leaders and should pay the same to the farmers who have been cheated by the land sharks”, demanded both Khaira and Gomar.
video: P5 News Global Voice Of Punjab