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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Govt U-turn on Gammon freehold land in MP

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Jabalpur, November 27, 2012
First Published: 16:13 IST(27/11/2012) | Last Updated: 16:15 IST(27/11/2012)

The state government on Monday informed the high court of having withdrawn the June 26, 2012 order to convert 15 acres land in the South TT Nagar, Bhopal from lease hold to freehold under a central business district (CBD) project.

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An application was also moved by the state government in the court to remove names of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his ministerial colleagues Babulal Gaur, Raghavji, Jayant Mallaiya, Rajendra Shukla, Karan Singh Verma and ex-ministerial colleague Kusum Mehdele from the array of respondents in the PIL.

The state is developing a central business district on 15 acres land in the South TT Nagar Bhopal through a private firm Deepmala Infrastructure Private Limited commonly known as Gammon India project.

Initially on February 8, 2008, the state cabinet had approved single offer (bid) of Gamon India Private Limited for this work.

But on September 22, 2011 an agreement was executed with Deepmala Infrastructure Private Limited instead of Gammon India Private Limited, the petitioner's counsel Manoj Sharma and Dinesh Upadhyay argued.

The entire project is being executed as per an agreement but documents are not registered or notarised and also no proper stamp duty is paid, the petitioner's counsel said. The petitioner counsels further said the private firm became owner of the government land through the order of June 26, 2011.

Advocate General RD Jain submitted an application in the court on behalf of the state government on November 2, 2012 saying that the government had withdrawn its June 26, 2012 order with regard to convert the land from lease hold to free hold.

Devendra Prakash Mishra, president Jan Adhikar Manch Bhopal filed the PIL seeking a direction to the state government to auction the land as per provisions of MP Land Revenue Code and Revenue Book Circular in event the government wants to pursue the project further.

One of the demands of PIL is to set aside the June 26, 2011 order on the ground of the state exchequer incurring huge losses.

The PIL further seeks direction for a probe through the Central Bureau of Investigation or special investigation team into alleged irregularities in the central business district project.

A division bench comprising Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Sanjay Yadav taking on record the state's submissions adjourned the hearing of the PIL for December 5.

When contacted Gammon India Project's Anand said he was not in a position to make comments on the issue after office hours.


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