Sonia’s dream project runs into land hurdle | india | Hindustan Times
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Sonia’s dream project runs into land hurdle

india Updated: Aug 10, 2009 01:02 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi

Another one of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s dream projects — the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum — faced a roadblock on the eve of her three-day visit to Rae Bareli on Monday.

A month after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati announced that her government would provide an additional 90 acres of land to the institute, the Rae Bareli district administration cited technical grounds to return the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation’s (UPSIDC’s) proposal for acquisition of land for the project.

The institute’s legal advisor, S.K. Bajpai said Rae Bareli land acquisition officer Jaidev (he goes by one name only) had returned the proposal to UPSIDC asking it to send eight photocopies of the documents attached with the proposal for acquisition of land. The district administration also raised objections to the corrections made in the institute’s proposal indicating the total size of the plots of land to be acquired.

Rae Bareli district magistrate Charanjit Singh Buxi said the land acquisition office had raised some problems with the documents for acquisition of 26 acres of land. The file had been returned by the land acquisition officer and not by him, he said.

But Bajpai pointed out that the institute had deposited about Rs 68 lakh with the UPSIDC last month, hoping that the land acquisition process would soon be over.

“This includes about Rs 30 lakh given to the district administration as the processing fee. This is a deliberate attempt to delay the acquisition for one reason or another,” said Bajpai.