LEADER OF Opposition, Vashram Sagathiya Monday demanded that Rajkot municipal commissioner should not grant administrative approval to a proposal adopted by the general board of Rajkot Municipal Corporation to allot more than 600 square metre (sqm) land to a person from a plot reserved for socially and economically weaker section (SEWS) in Nana Mava area of the city. He also threatened to move court if the commissioner gives his nod.
The general board at its meeting held on Saturday approved a proposal of the town planning department of the RMC to allot around 594 sqm land to Gean Singh Ahluwalia from plot No. 784 of Town Planning (TP) Scheme-2 (Nana Mava). The town planning department moved the proposal after repeated pleas by Ahluwalia that he had not been allotted any land against around 650 sqm land he owned earlier which had been reserved by the government while finalising the Nana Mava TP scheme in 1996.
Sagathiya wrote a letter to Rajkot municipal commissioner Udit Agrawal hours after the meeting on Saturday. “Your office should not grant administrative approval… because prima facie it appears some financial transaction has taken place. Moreover, this land is proposed to be allotted from a plot reserved for SEWS, in violation of provisions of the Town Planning Act,” Sagathiya said in his letter.
The Congress leader said that he would move court if the municipal commissioner clears the proposal and forwards it to the urban development department. “The same proposal had been rejected by the town planning committee of RMC at its meeting on September 30. But after the applicant made a fresh written representation on October 9, the matter was taken up in the meeting of town planning committee. Now, if they allot the land from FP No. 784, it will eat into the plot reserved for SEWS. Such an action would violate TP Act Section 40 (3) (j) which provides that 10 per cent of total area of any given TP Scheme has to be kept reserved for SEWS,” Sagathiya told The Indian Express on Monday.
Plot No.784 is located near Pushkardham on Nana Mava Road. The RMC had allotted 100 plots to weaker section of the society in 2000. The rest of the plot is a hawker zone now.
But deputy municipal commissioner Chetan Nandani said that Ahluwalia had to be given justice. “By mistake, a plot bearing number 622 had been allotted to two persons. The first person came and claimed his possession. The second person also claimed the ownership over the same plot, arguing he had also been allotted the plot bearing the same number. I am not stating anything definitively, but should the person go into litigation, we will have to give him justice. We will have to see the whole eco-system. May be there was no other option but to propose to give him land from that plot,” he said.
Nandani further said that RMC was neither allotting land to any individual nor was taking any final decision in the matter by way of the general board proposal. “The final decision will be taken by the state government. The government may decide to compensate the applicant by other means also,” he said.
However, officers said that the state government had powers to vary a TP scheme even after it has been finalised. “The grievance of the applicant is genuine. He has been fighting for his right for more than two decades. Usually, same number is not allotted to two plots in a TP scheme. But here, same number was allotted two plots,” said an officer.
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