The Haryana government is examining whether there was any illegality in leasing of about 5 acres of panchayat land in Gurgaon to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) for setting up an eye hospital.
Development and panchayat minister Om Prakash Dhankar, while replying to a question by BJP MLA OP Yadav in the vidhan Sabha on Wednesday, said that the state government would consider handing over the land back to Ulhawas panchayat if the village panchayat sends a proposal in this regard.
Dhankar said that 5 acres and 3 marlas of panchayat land was given to the RGCT on lease for 33 years for setting up a charitable eye hospital at the rate of `3 lakh per acre with a 5% annual increase. He said there was a stipulation that the hospital would be constructed within 2 years of the lease. “However, the construction period was extended till January 7, 2017 on the request of the Trust. So far, a shed of 1,200 square feet has been constructed,’’ the minister informed the House.
The council of ministers in the previous Congress government had in February 2010 approved the leasing of five acres and three marlas land to RGCT for 33 years following a 2009 resolution by Ulhawas gram panchayat and recommendation of the Gurgaon deputy commissioner (DC). 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. One of the conditions was that RGCT would put the leased land to the permitted use within two years from the date of commencement of the lease period.
However, the time limit for putting the leased panchayat lands to use was extended twice by the Congress council of ministers. The Trust was seeking an extension of time limit till 2019. The council of ministers had granted the first extension of time to RGCT in July 2013 with retrospective effect.
The tract of land 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.”
Meanwhile, Haryana's industries and commerce minister Captain Abhimanyu The minister said the government was also examining the release of 912 acres of land in the Manesar industrial belt in Gurgaon district by the Hooda government.
It was also informed that the previous Haryana government under Congress paid Rs 5.20 crore to senior advocate KTS Tulsi and his three assisting counsels to contest the case of arson and rioting at Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar. Tulsi was paid Rs 11.25 lakh per appearance.