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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

HPCA probe: Roles of various depts under lens

Gaurav Bisht , Hindustan Times  Shimla, October 17, 2013
First Published: 20:00 IST(17/10/2013) | Last Updated: 22:52 IST(17/10/2013)

With the state anti-corruption and vigilance bureau tightening its noose around the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, three different departments of higher education, public works and youth services and the sports department have come under scanner.

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The higher education department has apprised the vigilance department that the residential building was razed to the ground to facilitate the expansion of the scenic cricket stadium at Dharamsala without its approval.

After it registered a case for encroaching upon the government land and for damaging the government building against the HPCA, the vigilance bureau had sent queries to the education department over the land transferred to the youth services and sports department.

The education department in it reply to the vigilance department had maintained that the building that served as residential quarters for lecturer of the government college, Dharamsala, was demolished without its permission.

The building which was close to the stadium was demolished in 2008 at a time when the HPCA was preparing to host Indian Premier League matches for the first time in Dharamsala.

The state sports department owns the land measuring 720 sq m.   The land was later transferred to the department of youth services and sports. However, the HPCA had begun its activities on the land without getting transferred in its name. The chunk of land, which has been encroached, was not leased out to the HPCA, as a two-storey building belonging to the education department (residential quarters) stood on it at that time.

What further raised the questions was that the HPCA constructed a boundary walls to protect the stadium in place of the residential building.

Investigations so far have revealed that the building was demolished by the public works department.

Sources have told the Hindustan Times that investigations so far have revealed that orders to demolish the building came following a meeting chaired by the then deputy commissioner, Kangra, KK Panth. The meeting was attended by the public works department and representatives of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association.

“One thing is very clear that the building was not demolished by the HPCA,” said HPCA spokesperson Sanjay Sharma when reached over telephone in Dharamsala.

The then deputy commissioner had directed PWD officials in a meeting to prepare a report on the building, which the HPCA claimed was in shambles.

The vigilance department also questioned the role of public works department officials and education department officials.

Questions are being raised that why the building was declared to be in a dilapidated condition when it was occupied by a lecturer of the Dharamsala government college.

The vigilance has also questioned the then principal of the Dharamsala government college for maintaining silence at the time when the building was demolished.


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