A group of Hoshiarpur villagers has approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking transparent probe into the alleged fraud committed by officials amounting to crores by awarding compensation for land acquired for construction of bypass on Jalandhar-Chintpurni national highway on highly exaggerated rates.
In a petition filed by Jaspinder Singh Dhami and others, it has been alleged that the compensation of the land acquired last year has been provided to some of the influential people with the connivance of officials and Sub-Divisional Magistrate without following the standard procedure. Land was acquired in Khaspur, Hardo Khanpur, Singriwala and Dagana Kalan villages.
Though on petitioners’ complaint, Punjab vigilance is conducting a probe in the case but the petitioners have submitted that directions should be issued to the FIR first registered in the case and then conduct further probe. Rajiv Vashisht of RTI Awareness Forum Punjab had unearthed this land acquisition scam.
Among the alleged illegal beneficiaries, most of them close to Shiromani Akali Dal, are names of Harpinder Singh Gill (municipal councilor), Avtar Singh Johal (Chairman of Market Committee Hoshiarpur), Satinder Pal Singh Dhatt (MD of Central Cooperative Bank) and some other influential persons. It has been alleged that the government had issued the first notification for land acquisition in June last year but even after that land was purchased from the original owners by the beneficiaries at low prices so as to later get compensation at much high rates than the collector rate.
The petitioners have alleged that the beneficiaries, in order to get inflated compensation in connivance with the SDM, hurriedly constructed walls on their land. It has been alleged that the private beneficiaries by showing fictitious colonies on their land even got the compensation of more that Rs 10 lakh per marla while for the adjoining land owned by Nagar Palika Hoshiarpur, the compensation has been given about Rs. 2.40 lakh per marla.