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In Ferozepur, 3 dead men ‘get’ compensation for acquired land

“Boor Singh, Fuman Singh and Gumman Singh had died about 20 years ago but Fuman and Guman were awarded a compensation of Rs 4.63 lakh each while Boor got Rs 8.68 lakh,” says the report prepared by the district administration, a copy of which is available with HT.

punjab Updated: Aug 17, 2017 09:37 IST
Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar
Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar
Hindustan Times, Ferozepur
land acquisition,Ferozepur,disbursement scam
Several other irregularities have also come to the fore with rules having been tweaked by officials of the revenue and public works departments.(Representative image )

Three men who died nearly 20 years ago are shown as having received compensation for the acquisition of their land for the Amritsar-Bathinda highway in Ferozepur district as part of the Rs 50 crore disbursement scam.

Several other irregularities have also come to the fore with rules having been tweaked by officials of the revenue and public works departments, causing loss of several crores to the state exchequer, a departmental report has found.

Rs 460 crore was given for land acquisition in the district as part of a total of Rs 3,000 crore compensation for the project in 2015-16.

“Boor Singh, Fuman Singh and Gumman Singh had died about 20 years ago but Fuman and Guman were awarded a compensation of Rs 4.63 lakh each while Boor got Rs 8.68 lakh,” says the report prepared by the district administration, a copy of which is available with HT.

“Irregularities were found not only in the calculation of nature of land as the authorities went to the extent of issuing compensation on commercial rates for agricultural land (usually 10 times higher than the price of agriculture land) but also that compensation was re-issued for the land which was already acquired by the government in the past,” says the report.

“In some cases, just a few feet of land was acquired along the road but compensation was awarded for large chunks,” read the report.

“Usha Rani and Karan Kumar of Khadoor village in Zira were given Rs 3.72 lakh for having 25% of their share in a landholding while Raj Rani was given Rs 2.48 lakh despite being 50% owner of the same. The compensation to Gurmukh Singh for acquiring 175 malras was Rs 46.59 lakh but he was awarded Rs 53.23 lakh. Likewise, Harbans Singh was given Rs 71.47 lakh though the value of his land was only Rs 58.47 lakh,” the report says.

“A piece of land at Shekhwan village in Zira was also earmarked for compensation despite the fact that it is situated more than 500 metres from the main road,” states the report.

“Prime facie, it is the handiwork of revenue and PWD officials. The role of politicians belonging to the then ruling SAD-BJP regime cannot be even ruled out. It seems to be similar to the Hoshiarpur land scam and it needs to be probed properly,” said an official pleading anonymity.

“These irregularities seem to be a mere tip of the iceberg. Additional deputy commissioner (ADC general) Vaneet Kumar has been assigned the job to scrutinise the entire disbursement and prepare a report in a month,” said Ferozepur deputy commissioner Ramvir.

“He (ADC) will find out the extent of excess payments made to landowners besides fixing the responsibility for loss to the state exchequer. We will also find as why officials concerned did not get the entry of mutation of land acquired in the past into revenue records,” the DC said.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 09:25 IST