Ravi Dhaliwal, Tribune News Service
Gurdaspur, October 24. There may be further trouble for Sucha Singh Langah, president of the Gurdaspur district unit of the SAD, who is already facing a controversy over being allocated grants by his Cabinet colleagues for his family-managed institutions when he was Cabinet Minister during 2007-2012.
Sources say he was allotted a plot measuring 5,300 square yards by the Gurdaspur Improvement Trust in 2010 in the posh IT (Scheme No 1) Colony at the 1999 rate (Rs 45 lakh).The plot was allotted in the name of Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College Society run by the minister and his family members in an auction.The amount was to be paid in instalments but when the society failed to do so, the Improvement Trust recommended that the plot be re-auctioned so that it could fetch a higher price.
However, for some inexplicable reason, in February 2010 the civic body re-allotted the plot to Langah’s society at the 1999 auction price of Rs 45 lakh. Going by conservative estimates, the plot’s present value is Rs 10 crore. When the society successfully bid for the piece of land in 1999, it had no experience of running an educational institution (a mandatory condition).
After Langah’s arrest in 2002 following a Vigilance probe, the society defaulted in paying instalments and the plot was cancelled. But after the SAD-BJP alliance returned to power in 2007, the former minister approached an arbitrator following which the plot was re-allotted to the society in 2010.
Rules clearly state that an educational institution must be set up within three years of land allotment.
However, with just four months to go before the deadline expires, there is no sign of a building coming up on the land.
Langah could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. The then Gurdaspur Improvement Trust Chairman Ravinder Verma claimed that nothing wrong had been done.
Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa demanded a CBI probe into the matter. “I do not have faith in the state Vigilance Bureau which is directly controlled by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Langah’s proximity to Badal is well-known. I want the CBI to go into the sequence of events leading to the bungling. The Improvement Trust authorities should also be pulled up because their officials seem to have bent rules to favour Langah,” he said.