The district administration may have tough time ahead in the ongoing legal battle on the land acquisition for the Ring Road-2 project as the petitioner, challenging the land acquisition process, has now claimed that a private marriage palace has been constructed on the part of the land acquired for the project in 2009.
Producing an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana high court, complainant Baldev Singh has claimed that a private marriage palace 'Sky Land' has been constructed alongside the road on the land acquired for the ring road project.
Approximately, 90-acre land was acquired by the state government for this project to connect the Malout- Bathinda Road with Badal village road in 2009.
Alleging several irregularities in the project, a petition was filed by a Bathinda resident Baldev Singh against the state government and some private people in the high court in 2011.
The petitioner had alleged, "Respondent number 5 to his petition is advocate Mohan Lal Garg, who is an active Bharatiya Janata Party member and has acted as chairman of the Improvement Trust, Bathinda, in 1999. A part of the land for the ring road project acquired in 2009 is still under the possession of relatives of Mohan Lal Garg. A marriage palace has been constructed on this land that originally belonged to the government. The compensation was also paid for this land," said Baldev Singh in the affidavit.
"Around 21,000 sq feet land of the 90 acres acquired in 2009 is still under the possession of Renu Bala (niece of Mohan Lal) and her husband Bhushan Kumar."
"It is clear that authorities have been working hand-in-glove with Mohan Lal and his relatives and helping them in every possible manner. The present case clearly requires an inquiry from an independent agency," he said.
It is not the first time that Baldev Singh has levelled such serious allegations against Mohan Lal and others of embezzlement in land acquisition for the ring road project.
Earlier also, during the hearing of the case on March 12, 2014, a division bench of the high court made a serious comment on the process of land acquisition and said, "The real issue in the case is whether, on account of the political clout enjoyed upon by the respondent no. 5 (advocate Mohan Lal Garg), a local politician of Bathinda, the entire acquisition process has been carried out in such a manner that the land of the said respondent is saved at the cost of the petitioners?"
The bench further added, "Since respondent No. 5 is stated to be close to the seat of power, we are of the prima facie view that the matter requires probe by an independent agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation."
Baldev Singh has claimed that there were many other irregularities in the land acquisition for the project. "The road has not been constructed according to the proposed map. In the original map, the road was shown almost straight. But on the ground, there are many turns in the road, which has increased its length over the one shown in the map. These turns were made to favour Mohan Lal Garg and resulted in the demolition of my factory," alleged Baldev Singh.