Well-off owners of slum rehabilitation flats in Panchkula
Haryana Urban Development Authority has come across comparatively well-off people who have allegedly cornered flats meant for slum-dwellers and urban poor. Issued notices and called for hearing on Friday, nearly 500 such persons gathered at HUDA office here and sloganeered against the government body.
It was learnt that Independent councillor Gautam Prasad, who supports the Congress, has a plot in Sector 20 in the name of his wife whereas his son holds membership of Group Housing Society number 14 in Sector 27. However, he owns a flat in Ashiana scheme, meant for urban poor and slum dwellers, say HUDA authorities.
Prasad is a councillor from Ward 27 and claims to be a resident of a slum, Azad Bharat Colony.
Another beneficiary Sant Ram owns eight trucks, two JCBs and a plot in Sector 21, claims HUDA. Similarly, Raj Kumar holds two plots in Sector 20 but has a flat in Ashiana scheme. Another beneficiary Meena Devi is a government nurse in Bihar.
During the hearing on Friday, Suresh Kumar, Banke Lal, Vinod and Vinod Verma admitted that they owned flats in Sector 27 group housing society but had sold them for lakhs of rupees. Raj Kumar admitted that he already owns two plots in Panchkula.
Two Ashiana flats were allotted in the name of Ram Pal, allegedly on false document.
"We appeal to the general public to inform us in case they have any information about properties owned by Ashiana flat allottees. We have exposed the scam. Further inquiries are on. The flats are meant for poor people only," said Estate Officer Ashwini Sharma.
Meanwhile, the BJP demanded a fair inquiry into the allotments of Ashiana flats. "The matter should be investigated and guilty officials and allottees be identified," said BB Singhal, BJP councillor and vice-president of Panchkula Municipal Council.
Earlier, HUDA identified 27 government employees, including its own, who had shanties on HUDA land. They were allotted flats meant for slum-dwellers under Ashiana scheme.
HUDA had constructed 2,072 multi-storeyed flats under Ashiana scheme in 2008, including 960 in Sector 20, 320 in Sector 28, 224 in Sector 26 Pocket A, 312 in Sector 26 Pocket B and 256 in Industrial Area Phase 1.
About 1,600 families have been rehabilitated so far under the scheme, funded under Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme.