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Ownership yet to be proved,govt proposes Rs 350-cr bus stand on disputed land

While the government is yet to prove its ownership over 99 bighas of land on the Rajpura Road...

Written by Aman Sood | Patiala | Published: February 18, 2009 5:37 am

While the government is yet to prove its ownership over 99 bighas of land on the Rajpura Road,Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is all set to lay the foundation stone of an air-conditioned bus stand at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore on the disputed land on Wednesday. Ownership of the land in question is still to be established following a long-pending dispute.

According to land records,available with some occupants,the land was originally allotted to one Radhey Lal in 1917 by the then Maharaja of Patiala in lieu of his services for building a bridge.

Faqir Chand,who resides on the land,claims that the land was given by the royal family to his great grandfather Radhey Lal. “According to the tehsildar’s report in September last year,Patiala collector KR Lakhanpal in 1974 had said in a hearing that the government had failed to prove its ownership right over the land,” Chand told Newsline.

Sources said that there was no outcome of an inquiry ordered in 2001 by former Patiala Divisional Commissioner C S Reddy. Meanwhile,revenue department officials claim that before allotting land to Radhey Lal in 1917,the land was being used as a graveyard and there are no records of anyone’s ownership.

Interestingly,77 other people had filed a case and approached the district administration claiming right over the land,following which they were allotted separate lands.

However,the five grandsons of Radhay Lal,residing on the land,refused to approach anyone.

Patiala Deputy Commissioner Deepinder Singh said he had asked the revenue staff to look into the matter.

“Following directions by the High Court,we allotted alternate sites to the 77 residents. No one else has,however,approached us till date with any records,” he said.

According to officials,the AC bus stand project would be built on 14 acres under the BOT scheme by a Delhi-based company which has already paid one instalment as lease money for a 20 years lease contract. The company would pay a yearly fee of Rs 1.25 crore to the PRTC.

The DC further told Newsline that he had asked district revenue officials to look into the matter and meet the families that claim right of ownership over the land.

“No one has approached me in this regard other than those 77 families that have been rehabilitated,” he said.

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