Seven months have passed since the Supreme Court cancelled Phase 3 of Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP), but the UT administration is yet to initiate the process for recovering around R75 crore it had paid for acquiring land for the ambitious project.
The administration had acquired 272 acres from around 200 farmers for the project. Over Rs 75 crore was to be paid to the farmers, and as per rules, the amount was deposited in the court, out of which a total of 35 farmers had taken compensation of Rs 5 crore for their share of land.
The administration is yet to recover Rs 70 crore from court and remaining from the farmers. Interestingly, around 20 farmers who had taken compensation for their share of acquired land have already expressed their inability to refund the money and requested the authorities to keep their land.
When contacted, UT land acquisition officer (LAO) Tilak Raj said that some farmers approached with a request to keep their share of land and expressed their inability to pay back the money. “We are considering all the options for recovering the amount. The process will be initiated very shortly,” said Tilak Raj.
According to the information available, the land belonging to the farmers who had taken compensation, are small pieces of land scattered at different locations. Out of which, a majority of land has already been encroached upon.
A senior official, on request of anonymity, said that they will get back money from the court with ease, however, they will have to toil hard for making recoveries from the farmers, who had take compensation.
In October, 2012, the Supreme Court had cancelled the Phase 3 project of RGCTP on grounds that the administration did not follow the laid down norms. Later, on the advice of its legal remembrancer (LR), the administration decided against challenging the decision of the Supreme Court.
From the phase 3, the administration had pinned hopes of attracting investments worth more than Rs 2000 crore and employment to over 30,000 individuals.