In its continuous effort of raising funds for developmental projects, the cash strapped state government is set to sell another prime land of around15 acres belonging to Irrigation department.
The land would be sold off under Optimum Utilization of Vacant Government Land (OUVGL) scheme by Punjab Urban Developmental Authority (PUDA) which will generate funds worth multi crores for the government.
OUVGL scheme which allows the state government to sell off prime government properties which are either lying vacant or are old and in dire state.
The old building of irrigation department would be razed from where; the irrigation department was running its affairs since 1955-56 situated at Jalandhar-Kapurthala road.
Apart from the irrigation department, the drainage and river department had also their offices at this land and some of rooms of building were also turned unsafe and old.
The total 22 acres land of irrigation department was already given to PUDA by government into past and agency had to construct residences and offices of officials of irrigation department and for this purpose, around seven acres from 22 acre land was kept. The remaining 15 acre land will be made commercially viable first by PUDA and then would be sold it off through an auction for a commercial venture.
Already, the PUDA had been constructing residences and offices of officials of irrigation department from last few years and at present, the construction work of employee's house and office was almost completed. The construction work of drainage department's office was still to be started.
Sources into irrigation department said that PUDA has planned to construct Shop-cum-Flats after demolishing the existing old building of department.
They said that as the debt-ridden state government was already raising a Rs. 1,500-crore loan to pay salaries to government employees and to meet its financial obligations in the past six months by mortgaging its properties and the sale of such prime land might help the state government to fetch good income worth multi crores.
They further added that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal shelved the plan to sell Land of Sports College, which is adjoining to their department, under optimum utilization of vacant government land scheme to generate Rs. 40 crores funds after he visited the college in August and decided to convert the sports college, into 'Centre of Sports Excellence.
They also said that the properties of irrigation department in other districts including Amritsar, Ludhiana were also put on sale or sold out.
When contacted, Jaskiran Singh chief administrator, Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA) confirmed about move of selling of land of irrigation department and said that file has been sent to higher authorities.