Granting yet another relief to Delhi-based Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT), the Council of Ministers in Haryana on Wednesday extended the deadline for setting up an eye hospital on the 5 acres leased Ulhawas panchayat land by another two years till 2017. The land was leased to RGCT in 2010.
Since the time limit for putting the leased panchayats lands to use has already been extended to 5 years from the existing two years by the state government through a policy decision, the RGCT which had failed start construction on the Ulhawas land stands to gain immensely. The Trust was seeking an extension of time limit till 2019.
The terms and conditions of the lease stipulated that lease of the land would automatically stand cancelled in the event of breach of conditions by the trust. The trust had failed to put the leased land to use by opening an eye hospital within the fixed time limit. Till now, it has only been able to get the building plan approved and engage a contractor.
The Council of Ministers had granted the first extension of time to RGCT in July 2013 with retrospective effect. The Cabinet had in February 2010 approved the leasing of five acres and three marlas to RGCT for 33 years following a 2009 resolution by Ulhawas gram panchayat and recommendation of the Gurgaon deputy commissioner (DC) in this regard. The lease was subject to certain terms and conditions (T&C), one of which was that RGCT would put the leased land to the permitted use within two years from the date of commencement of the lease period. The government however changed the policy guidelines in 2013 after the Cabinet granted a two year extension to the Trust in violation of the terms and conditions of the lease.
The tract of leased to RGCT whose change of land use had created a storm in 2011 had also attracted a rap from the comptroller and auditor general (CAG). The CAG, in its report tabled in the Haryana assembly in March 2013, had observed that “even after two years, work regarding construction of the eye hospital has not been started by the trust thereby defeating the purpose for which the change of land use (CLU) was granted and land leased.”
The Trust had in 2013 written to the state government seeking extension by two more years. It then took the plea that the project got delayed on account of time consumed by the state government for grant of change of land use permission (CLU). To facilitate the extension, the Ulhawas panchayat passed a resolution for extending the period for setting up of the hospital from January 2012 to 2014. A recommendation in this regard was also sought from the Gurgaon DC, who gave his nod to the proposal. The DC buttressed his recommendation with the fact that the trust had deposited four annual installments of R15 lakh each as lease money with the Ulhawas panchayat.