The construction of a bus station by private operators in Rampur has triggered a controversy,with Kitply Industries claiming that it owns the land that has been taken away at the instance of Urban Development Minister Azam Khan. In a letter to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav,the company has alleged that the district administration had ignored their complaint because of the ministers clout.
Azam Khan is a powerful minister in the government. Kitply has all the papers establishing the ownership of the land. But no one listens to us, said Devendra Kumar,DGM (Personnel and Administration),Kitply Industries.
The minister,on the other hand,refuted Kitplys claim,saying that half of the factory is on illegal land. Their claim of a valid lease is bogus,it is null and void and they dont have the right to possess the land. They are land mafia, said Khan.
He also said the factory was closed for past 25 years. Soon after taking over as minister,Khan had asked the district administration to shift the Shahbad Bus Stand near Krishna Mandir to a suitable place. The administration decided on a vast chunk of land adjoining Kitply Industries.
Kitply officials,however,approached the DM and said they had a valid lease of this land. Earlier,Kitply Industries was Nuboard Manufacturing Company Limited and 26.72 acres of land was allotted to it through a lease by the Governor for 99 years in 1965, said Devendra Kumar Singh.
Singh stated revenue officials demolished their old gate,pillars and have also asked the employees living their to vacate the quarters. We told them that we will not leave and they are free to demolish the houses after which they returned, he said.
Soon after,private bus operators swung into action. Several trucks of earth has been dumped there. It is not a government construction but totally private. The administration has turned a blind eye towards their actions, he said.
Azam admitted that the private bus stand is being shifted to the place,but it is a temporary arrangement. It is for the benefit of the people, he said. He said several other industries in Rampur had encroached upon government land.
Rampur District Magistrate Anil Kumar Dhingra did not respond despite several messages left at his office. Additional
District Magistrate S P Patel and City Magistrate Achey Lal Yadav said they had joined only a few days ago and were not in a position to comment.