It was way back in 1982 that the Punjab government under the Ludhiana Improvement Trust announced draw of lots for the 475-acre scheme of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. And the draw of lots for residential plots measuring 125 square yards each was held in 1999 — after a span of 17 years.
However, now it has been more than 32 years and the wait is still on for 114 residents who were selected through the draw of lots.
Another twist in the tale came when the government demanded the acquisition of 114 plots for its multi-crore City Centre Project on Pakhowal road, which later turned out to be a multi-crore scam also allegedly involving former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
Davinder Rehan, one of the residents waiting for his plot, said, “Government acquired 114 plots for its city centre project and promised that we will be allotted alternative plots. We are still waiting for that day to arrive.”
It was after multiple pleas and meetings with the MC commissioner, Ludhiana Improvement Trust authorities, local bodies secretary, director and even local bodies minister that finally the draw of lots was held again to re-allot the plot numbers in 2012. But now even after two years, the resolution is waiting for the final nod of the local bodies department.
“Draw of lots was held again on September 17, 2012, and October 30, 2012, and new plot numbers were allotted through draw of lots. It only shows the lackadaisical attitude of bureaucrats and government that we have not been able to set up our home waiting for our residential plots,” said R K Chawla, another beneficiary.
Hoping for a positive response, a complaint was recently made to newly started e-mail service by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Replying to their complaint, the response that came read, “We have gone through your complaint/input and we have sent it to the secretary, local bodies, for necessary action. You will be intimated on further progress in this regard shortly.”
“After meeting with Local Bodies Minister Anil Joshi in June this year, he issued time-bound directions to director local bodies to decide the case within 10 days but nothing has been done to date,” said R S Virk and Ranjit Singh, two of the other allottees waiting for possession of their plots.
Veena Rani and Gian Kaur said, “It has been almost two years since new resolution was passed during the tenure of then LIT chief administrator Rahul Tewari, and it is still waiting for final nod of the government.”
Contacted, Priyank Bharti, director, local bodies department, said, “The case is too old and thus legal advice is sought on various parameters. We have sent the case to legal cell which is verifying some aspects.”