Out of the total 223 acres of shamlat land (village common land) at Salempur village in Sahnewal constituency of Ludhiana, as many as 138 acres have been sold out to many people of the village and surrounding areas. The process of sale and purchase started two years back; and today only 85 acres of shamlaat land is left with the village panchayat.
The matter was brought to the notice of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. An inquiry by the block development officer (BDO) clearly indicates serious lapses on part of the revenue department. Land mutations and farad details in revenue records show that the owner is not the village panchayat but some other people. While no action has been taken against any officer so far, no effort has been made to take the land back and give it to the village panchayat.
Joginder Pal and Santokh Singh, members of Salempur panchayat, said, “We have been running from pillar to post to highlight this anomaly, but we are not getting justice. Cabinet Minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon is our area MLA, but our problem is unheard.”
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Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, when contacted, said, “I have marked an inquiry to district development programme officer (DDPO) and told him to take necessary action.”
However, DDPO Jagwinder Pal Singh, who joined three months back, said, “I just checked the records, as I have been posted here recently. It is a serious issue and it will be taken up on priority to get the land records rectified. Though the inquiry indicated lapses on part of the revenue department, we need to set things in order. We will follow legal process as well, if needed.”
Cabinet Minister and area MLA Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon, when contacted, said, “The district administration should complete the probe and punish the guilty. Two groups of village had approached me, but I don’t want to be a party. Rather, DDPO should take necessary action.”