Even after being exposed, a relative of a ruling-party legislator is still selling the Wakf land here along with his illegal structures, and the Muslim board and municipal authorities are quiet.
Property dealer Pawinder Singh Virdi, brother-in-law of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Darshan Singh Shivalik, built illegal shops on more than 4-kanal of the Waqf property and now has put those up for sale. He also deals in construction material.
One of the shops he has converted into a temporary office and there deployed a caretaker named Sham Sunder. Virdi has NOC (no-objection certificate) from Wakf Board to construct the shops but, to be legal, the construction needs to be based on maps approved from the MC, which is not the case. It points to the connivance of the MC employees.
On November 13 and 14, 2013, Hindustan Times had highlighted the scam, at which MC commissioner Rahul Tewari had promised to take action, yet the shops remain intact. A reporter disguised as customer approached
Virdi asking for a shop on rent, to which he replied that the shops were for sale for `25 lakh each but there
would be no registry as the land belonged to Wakf Board. "We can get it transferred to you for `1 lakh," he said.
He said categorically that legislator Darshan Singh Shivalik was with him in the deal and would take care of things in Wakf Board. Office caretaker Sham Sunder, when asked about price concession, said it was Shivalik's call.
Wakf has no reply
Even though aware that Virdi attempted to sell its property illegally, Wakf Board has not moved an inch. Its estate officer Abdul Rasheed, who accepted that hundreds of acres of Wakf land were in illegal possession of private entities, couldn't explain why the action against Virdi was still missing, if the board property could not be sold.
He had not answer to why the board had not even tried to take back the possession of shops even after the intent of the lessee is exposed.
Kin owner in MC record
In Wakf record, the land (B-35, Barewal Road, Near Ayali Chowk) is given on lease to eight individuals, whereas the details secured from the Ludhiana MC refers to Virdi as owner. It only indicates that the other seven names in the Waqf record (Gagandeep Singh, Major Singh, Yogesh Sund, Rajesh Sund, Satpal, Surinder Singh, and Hardeep Singh) are to mislead.
Details secured under the Right to Information (RTI) Act on April 4, 2013, state that Virdi was issued a notice under the Punjab Municipal Act in August 2012 stating that the construction was illegal (HT has a copy) and he must discontinue it. However, Virdi has carried on with it, even after a show-cause from the MC.
It was a notice that also threatened to demolition the illegal structures within three days.