Eight years after the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) was leased land for an eye hospital in Gurgaon by the then Congress government of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the Haryana Department of Town & Country Planning (DTCP) has rejected the occupation certificate granted to the Trust — Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are its trustees.
Highly placed sources told The Indian Express that the DTCP, while noting that the RGCT failed to construct on the land — it was to complete construction of the hospital by January 7, 2012 — despite repeated extensions, described it as a violation of the lease conditions and rejected the land occupation certificate. The Panchayats Department will now take further action to repossess the land.
The land, measuring 19477.70 sq m (approximately 4.8 acres) in Khasra No. 71 in the revenue estate of village Ullawas in Gurgaon, was leased to the RGCT in 2009.
The gram panchayat of Ullawas, under permission from the Panchayats Department, leased the land to the RGCT. The Indian Express has learnt that on May 25, the DTCP asked the senior town planner in Gurgaon to “take further steps required in pursuance to the rejection of application and send action taken report to this office”.
The DTCP also informed the Panchayats Department about the rejection of the “occupation certificate” and asked it to initiate action. In a letter to the Principal Secretary, Panchayats Department, the DTCP said lease of the land was granted by the gram panchayat of Ullawas with certain terms and conditions. “One of the conditions was to put the leased land to the permitted use within two years from the commencement of lease period which stands expired on 07.01.2012 and applicant has failed to comply with it… it is requested to take further action as per terms and conditions of lease deed,” the letter stated.
The lease deed was executed in favour of RGCT on January 8, 2010. Several extensions were granted to the Trust to start construction and complete the hospital.This is the chain of events that led to
This is the chain of events that led to grant of lease:
May 9, 2008: RGCT approaches Ullawas gram panchayat, requests allotment of six acres for construction of a state-of-the-art 300-bed eye hospital. The Trust said it will build a facility with the capacity to treat 3 lakh outpatients ever year and perform 30,000 surgeries.
May 27, 2008: Ullawas gram panchayat passes a resolution allowing sale of land at the market rate to RGCT. Resolution is forwarded to Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon. The DC rejects it, saying gram panchayat land cannot be alienated by way of gift or sale. Moreover, land was already on lease for five years and its term was to expire on June 10, 2009.
June 2, 2009: Haryana government issues notification under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act, intending to acquire 1417 acres, including the Ullawas panchayat land being sought by RGCT.
June 10, 2009: RGCT again approaches gram panchayat, this time requesting it to lease the land for a period of 33 years.
July 20, 2009: Panchayat passes resolution to give the land on lease to RGCT.
July 31, 2009: DC, Gurgaon approves the proposal and recommends a lease amount of five per cent of the collector rate — then Rs 60 lakh per acre. It works out to a lease rate of Rs 3 lakh per acre per annum for RGCT.
August 21, 2009: Haryana cabinet approves DC’s proposal. Cabinet modifies lease money from Rs 3 lakh per acre per annum to Rs 1,000 per acre per annum. The same day, Panchayat Department finalises terms and conditions and issues the order.
October 2009: Congress returns to power in Haryana.
November 2009: RGCT approaches Ullawas panchayat and requests lease of land at prevailing market rate of Rs 3 lakh per acre per annum. Panchayat agrees.
December 14, 2009: Haryana cabinet approves lease rate of Rs 3 lakh per acre per annum.
May 31, 2010: Government issues notification under Section 6 of Land Acquisition Act. This notification includes Ullawas panchayat land being sought by RGCT.
October 20, 2010: RGCT applies to DTCP for Change of Land Use.
December 1, 2010: Government approves CLU.
December 6, 2010: Department of Urban Estates orders release of land leased to RGCT from acquisition proceedings.
May 6, 2011: Final CLU permission issued.