IAS officers refute land-grabbing charge

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Old 08-Jul-2010
IAS officers refute land-grabbing charge

Chandigarh, July 7

Members of the IAS-PCS Cooperative Housing Society yesterday stated that they had not “grabbed” any land in Chandigarh’s periphery and the land in the possession of the society had been bought from the landowners by the members after informing the government.

NS Sangha, general secretary of the PCS Officers Association, and also member of the managing committee of the society, stated that the members had written to the chief secretary explaining the position with regard to the land purchased by the society.

“An erroneous impression has been created as if the land owned by the society has been grabbed by officers using their influence. However, the fact is that the society members bought this land directly from the landowners over a period of four years. All purchases are bona fide and the membership of each person has been reflected in his or her property returns,” said Sangha.

He added that the society had not flouted any rule of the urban authorities and had gone out of its way to include more members so as to complete the earmarked 100 acres required for the setting up of a group housing colony in the periphery,” he added.

Some other members of the society pointed out that all charges due to the government had been paid by the society. “Not an inch of either shamlat land or forestland has been touched by the society and this can be checked from the revenue records,” said a member.

He added that the IAS-PCS officers’ society was one of the five group housing societies that were coming up in the area. These societies include professionals, doctors, engineers and judges, he said.

Another member said the interim report filed by ADGP Chandreshekhar had only mentioned that 48 members had not furnished information regarding the source of funds, which were used in buying land for the society. The report objected to that and named those IAS and PCS officers as having furnished incomplete information.

“All members had pooled in money to purchase land for the society. As a result when the property returns were filed no one was an owner of immovable property. It was duly mentioned in the return that we are members of the society and they have applied for a plot of a particular size. But since the plot was not allotted there was no point in giving information related to the funds,” said another member adding that the information which the Chandrashekher Report found lacking had now been given and there was no deliberate concealment of any information.

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