The Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority (YEIDA) has acted against a lekhpal, Deependra Pratap Singh Yadav for allegedly demanding bribe from farmers for disbursing land compensation.
YEIDA chief executive officer (CEO) Arun Vir Singh suspended the official following complaints from five farmers.
“I have removed him from the job and also proposed a suspension. He was on deputation in the Yamuna authority and was dealing with farmers’ land compensation disbursal job. He is an employee of Mainpuri district. Therefore, I have written to Mainpuri district regarding his suspension from the job because he was harassing farmers,” the CEO said.
Farmers often complain of rampant corruption in disbursal of land compensation, but corrupt officials go scot-free as nobody files an official complaint on the issue. “A farmer, on February 2, had filed an affidavit stating that the lekhpal demanded ₹20,000 for disbursal of ₹65 lakh compensation for his agricultural land. I formed a committee for the probe. The committee, in its initial report, confirmed that he had sought a bribe. Therefore, I removed him from the job and also proposed that he be suspended from his parent department,” the CEO said.
Lekhpal is an official who deals with land related issues, including acquisition for infrastructure or government projects and disbursal of compensation to farmers. The suspended official had approached the Allahabad high court but his plea was dismissed, officials said.
Top officials accused Yadav of flaunting his political connections within the authority. However, the lekhpal refuted the allegations.
Yadav said, “The action against me is a conspiracy hatched by senior officials at the behest of builders. I will resume my duty in Mainpuri district tomorrow. I have never flaunted any political connection and worked honestly with farmers. Action has been taken against me as I had acted against builders. Builders and senior officials got me removed and proposed my suspension.”
It is alleged that the lekhpal had demanded a bribe from farmers of Bhaipur Brahmanan village. Thousands of farmers have given their land for the development of Yamuna Expressway and YEIDA is still procuring land from farmers for industrial, residential and government projects.
“The lekhpals working in the Yamuna Expressway authority mostly come on deputation from Mainpuri and other nearby districts, to make a quick buck through bribes. Most of the lekhpals refuse to hand over the compensation cheque without a bribe. Senior officials should act in every instance,” Ajaypal Sharma, president of Bharatiya Kisan union, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.