Officials to investigate now!!
M4PNews | Chandigarh:
It is quite obvious that the bureaucrats have to dance upon the rules of the ruling government, but sometimes it gets too much. Badal’s personal project Sukhvilas had been in the limelight during the election, but no one pointed out at the illegal construction of a road to Sukhvilas. The land that was used to construct a road for Sukhvilas falls under the Punjab Land and Preservation Act and one has to take permissions from the central Forest Ministry before any kind of construction is done upon this land, but ex-state government out-ruled the requisite rule of the Forest Ministry.
In 2014, the Punjab Government proposed a road construction plan from Majra T-junction to Pallanpur. In the continuous process of this proposal and to acquire the land, they even had designed Social Impact Assessment Report for the construction of this particular road. In the Assessment report, it was mentioned that there is need of Rs. 29 crore over this 100 feet width road, out of which Rs. 20 crore would be exhausted as compensation of land acquisition and Rs. 9 crore would be spent upon the construction of road. It was also very well mentioned in that report that this land fell under PLPA Land and therefore Environment Protection Act 1986, Forest protection Act 1927, 1980 and Forest protection Rule 1981 has to be applied over this land. Taking this point, department taking care of environmental issues under Greater Mohali Area development Authority proposed diversion of this land under Punjab Land Preservation Act, but this matter was blanketed due to pressure of higher officials. As per higher sources of GMADA, they did inform the high officials on this matter, but officials purposely ignored the issue and Road to Sukhvilas got constructed illegally without the requisite permissions of Forest Department.
Officials Orders made department spineless
Though it was clear case of illegal construction, yet officers of Forest Department did not intend to take any action over this. In 2010, it was decided in the meeting by Chief Secretary that 56,047.65 hectare delisted land under PLPA would be under the ownership of Urban Department because land fell under the jurisdiction of Urban Department. If any construction plan or proposal is there, then Urban Department would have to put file before Punjab Forest department and Punjab Forest Department would seek permission from the Central Forest Ministry. However, Urban Department have not sent any proposal to Punjab Forest Department yet and now Officials of Punjab Forest Department are saying that any illegal construction over PLPA land would be official responsibility of Urban Department.
GMADA took permission for Tourism Project
The Road to sukhvilas, Siswa Eco Tourism Project too fell under PLPA for which GMADA did not feel negligent et al. GMADA did send proposal to Punjab Forest Department. In the proposal it was mentioned that GMADA require 4.1721 Hectare land for Eco Tourism Project, in which 1.1425 hectare land is Delisted and rest 3.0296 hectare land is closed under PLPA. After the proposal, Forest Ministry has approved the project of Siswa.
“Government is bound to secure land under PLP Act. Any construction without the requisite permission is illegal. We will enquire the whole matter to the priority.”
Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, State Forest Minister, Punjab