GIDC slammed for allotting land it never owned

The state legislative committee on public enterprises has severely criticised the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (GIDC) for allotting a plot of land,to a textile unit,it never owned.

Written by Tanvir A Siddiqui | Ahmedabad | Published: February 23, 2009 2:38:03 am

State legislative committee has recommended disciplinary action against the erring officials

The state legislative committee on public enterprises has severely criticised the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (GIDC) for allotting a plot of land,to a textile unit,it never owned.

The incident,which the Committee has described as an act of “land grabbing”,dates back to 1995.

Quoting a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG),the Committee has noted that the GIDC had proposed the allotment of 4.86 lakh sq metre land located in Jhagadia taluka to Mahavir Spinning Mill on March 31,1995. It proposed to allot the land at Rs 195 per sq metre with 15 per cent front charges. This was done despite the Corporation not having possession of the land in question. The buyer was to pay the money within 30 days,but in the meanwhile the rate was revised to Rs 215 per sq metre.

However,since the GIDC had allotted the land,it decided to charge old rate and accordingly the possession of 3,36,400 sq metres was given to the party on August 29,1996. The allotment was ordered on December 4,1995.

The whole matter came up in GIDC’s 365th meeting on October 10,2005 when the decision to give the possession of the land at old rate without charging interest on late payment was justified in the name of natural justice.

In the Committee’s meeting of October 14,2003,the GIDC representative told the Committee members that the fact of land not being in possession of the GIDC came to light after making the allotment and that it did not exist on its map. The representative admitted that no maps were verified at the time of allotment and it was a mistake on the part of the GIDC.

The Committee has taken a serious view of the Corporation not taking any action against the officials responsible for such a lapse.

The Committee has also noted that officials of the Corporation were running its affairs in an uncontrolled manner.

“Had this matter not been brought before the Committee,the GIDC would not have initiated any action against the erring officials,” the Committee has noted in its report tabled in the State Assembly on Friday.

“Acting beyond its jurisdiction by allotting land,which it never owned,is shocking and it amounts to land grabbing. Therefore,the Committee recommends disciplinary action against the officials responsible for allotting land without verifying its ownership,” said the Committee report.

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