Punjab Congress spokesman Sukhpal Khaira on Thursday alleged that deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal was trying to dispose of 31acres of prime land in Ludhiana to create a downtown commercial area.
Showing copies of a letter of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), dated August 20, Khaira said the junior Badal wanted to "squander precious, green, environment-friendly government properties to make a concrete jungle."
The property at Sarabha Nagar, in the heart of Ludhiana, belongs to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
"Presently, the PSPCL land has two pockets measuring 10.82 acres and 21.07 acres, housing offices and residences of the PSPCL staff. The market value of the said PSPCL property is more than Rs 3,000 crore, besides having thousands of very old trees that act as an eco-friendly measure for residents of the otherwise congested and polluted Ludhiana. The government, under pressure from the deputy CM, has fabricated a mischievous argument that 80% of the proceeds generated from the commercial downtown project of Ludhiana, would be utilised for financing the equity of the Mukerian power project. Needless to mention, all private-sector thermal plants vigorously pushed by Sukhbir are in jeopardy and not likely to generate electricity in the next few years," he added.
Khaira also alleged that Sukhbir and his coterie of officials had vested interests through benami share holdings and partnerships with private companies bidding for such government sites. He said the Congress, along with environment groups, would also move the Punjab and Haryana high court through a public interest litigation.