Chandigarh airport expansion: The curious case of 4 acquisitions of Mohali village land | punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Apr 19, 2018-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Chandigarh airport expansion: The curious case of 4 acquisitions of Mohali village land

The inquiry conducted by sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) RP Singh, found the latest acquisition in 2008 at Rs 23 crore had cost the state exchequer Rs 7 crore in interest.

punjab Updated: Mar 26, 2018 15:11 IST
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
The inquiry has found that the land was first acquired in 1966, and again in 1968, for extending the boundary of the airport. However, the project did not materialise then.
The inquiry has found that the land was first acquired in 1966, and again in 1968, for extending the boundary of the airport. However, the project did not materialise then.(HT File )

Land measuring 126 kanals in Jheorheri village was acquired four times by the Punjab government for the expansion of the Chandigarh airport between 1968 and 2008, causing loss of crores to the state exchequer, a district administration inquiry has found.

The inquiry conducted by sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) RP Singh, found the latest acquisition in 2008 at Rs 23 crore had cost the state exchequer Rs 7 crore in interest.

Revenue and rehabilitation commissioner, Patiala division, VK Meena, confirmed having received the report that has been forwarded to the state government for appropriate action.

Sources privy to the probe said state government will affix responsibility of those guilty after verifying the records of officers posted at Mohali when the land was acquired in the 1960s, in 1980s and more recently in 2008.

The inquiry has found that the land was first acquired in 1966, and again in 1968, for extending the boundary of the airport. However, the project did not materialise then. Though the land was acquired, it was not registered in the name of the government. As such, revenue records continued to reflect farmers as owners of the land.

The same piece of land was again acquired in 1988, but was yet again not transferred to the state government.

Finally in 2008, Rs 460 crore were sanctioned to acquire the entire land of Jheorheri village to extend the boundary for the international airport in Mohali.

This time around, the government paid Rs 23 crore to the farmers for acquiring the same 126 kanals. Taking note of repeated acquisition, some people raised the matter with the district administration that then ordered an inquiry.

The probe revealed that the land had been acquired several times, and the state government had suffered a loss of Rs 7 crore as interest on the payment of Rs 23 crore made in 2008.

Meanwhile, the farmers concerned have been asked to return the money they got as compensation. But only some of them have returned it so far, multiplying the interest that the government is losing.

Sources privy to the probe said the state government will affix the responsibility of those guilty after verifying the records of officers posted at Mohali when the land was acquired in the 1960s, in 1980s and more recently in 2008.