People residing in areas near Lakkar Bazaar, opposite Tyre market of Old City have an unusual problem. Adjoining their houses are two huge chunks of land owned by the Ludhiana police department- which are now lying in ruins.
The market value of both pieces of land located at prime location in Old City is estimated to run in crores but police is unaware of any such land lying vacant for more than 15 years.
The land, MC records does not even mention the exact measurement, is owned by police department and once housed the office of senior police officials. Also situated there are almost 10-12 police quarters which now lie in ruins with their ceiling coming down and doors, taps etc missing and most probably stolen by thieves since there is no security deployed at the place.
The problem does not end here. The old police quarters are now new hot spots for drug addicts who throng the dingy place almost every night, leaving the residents in fear. In December last, a constable Ranjeet Singh deployed at CIA staff-1 of Ludhiana police in an inebriated condition also entered into a brawl with one a resident, Saurabh, and vandalised his friend’s car and also abused him. A complaint was filed with the Kotwali police check post but no action was taken.
There is not one but two chunks of land owned by police lying in shambles near Lakkar Bazaar. While one chunk measures approximately 600 square yards and this constable has allegedly encroached upon a quarter in it, the other chunk measuring almost 2,000 square yards owned by police is located opposite to it. The larger chunk has 10-12 police quarters and police offices which are now in ruins. Not even a security guard and sweeper have been deployed to take care of the area.
A resident fearing police requested anonymity and said, “My home is nearby and strange activities are witnessed here on police land at late night and during wee hours. More than 100 trucks accumulate and transport some goods. They do not seem to be legal in anyway. The offices were used when Ludhiana was not a police commissionerate and SSP headed the police. The site had office of SP Ludhiana here. Now all of it is in ruins and new officers do not have know about this police land lying vacant.”
Area councillor Rakesh Prashar from Congress said that ‘he raised matter in MC house meeting but MC cannot interfere in police matters.’ “The land is owned by police and it used to be SP office almost 20-30 years back. As per MC records which I checked, it is written that land is owned by police and not even total area is written. I personally got area cleaned multiple times but only police can give its permanent solution,” he said.
When contacted, Naveen Singla, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) said that ‘they were unaware of any such police land in city.’ “Officers keep changing and we have joined recently. The area seems quite old and I was not aware of it. Now I will get it checked and illegal activities will not be allowed to mushroom on police lands,” he said.
SHO division number 1, Dharampal under whose jurisdiction the land falls, said, “The land is lying vacant since years and none of police officials are allotted the quarters.” Asked about a constable living in one of the quarters and his allotment, he said, “I cannot tell the details as of now.”