August 6, 2021 11:36:41 pm
A day after Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the alleged Shamlat land scam, SAD (Sanjyukt) on Friday too chimed in with the demand of holding a high-level inquiry into the issue, while terming the land lease deed as a ‘conflict of interest’.
Former Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker and leader of SAD (Sanjyukt), Bir Davinder Singh, said that the department of Rural Development and Panchayats, which is expected to protect the village common lands, has surrendered to the greed of land sharks and impishly approved the lease deed of Gram Panchayat Balongi to lease out 10.4 acres of prime Shamlat land of the village, situated on the outskirts of Mohali, to a trust — Bal Gopal Gau Basera Society Trust —that is headed by the Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu.
“The land was leased out for building a gaushala. The department, however, has also paradoxically allowed the trust to construct a banquet hall and a diagnostic center on the very premises of the land in question,” he added.
Stating further, Davinder Singh questioned how the Punjab Health Minister could so blatantly indulge in setting up a private diagnostic center by the trust headed by him. “It is a clearly a made-out case of conflict of interest of the minister and his own department. Sidhu, as the Health Minister, has miserably failed to set up even one such state-of-the-art diagnostic center in any of the Government Hospital in Mohali or anywhere in the district of Mohali, where all compulsive medical tests are carried out at one place, at government-specified rates. But he is ready to set up one such centre at Balongi”
Questioning the lease deed, Davinder said that it was not even clear in the lease deed whether the proposed diagnostic centre being set up by the minister is meant for bovines or for humans, because in the premises of the gaushala only a limited number of activities will be permissible.
“As for the terms and conditions of the proposed banquet hall, the trust will have to clearly define if non-vegetarian food and liquor can be served on the premises of the gaushala. Otherwise, this can lead to potential conflicts with gau sewaks every other day,” he asserted.
Bir Davinder Singh said that the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, must intervene in the matter immediately and order a CBI probe in what is multi-crore land scam happening under his very nose and cancel the murky lease deed.
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