Decision to convert plots into green belt raises hackles

LUDHIANA: Questions are being raised over the decision of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) to change land use of 11,050 square yards (2.28 acre), 4,850 square yards out of it earmarked for residential plots, lying in village Sunet and blocks L and I of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, into green belts for the use of area residents.

editorial@tribune.com

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 20

Questions are being raised over the decision of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) to change land use of 11,050 square yards (2.28 acre), 4,850 square yards out of it earmarked for residential plots, lying in village Sunet and blocks L and I of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, into green belts for the use of area residents. Apprehending huge financial loss to the Trust on this account, residents of Dugri village have filed a complaint with the state government not to accord approval to resolutions adopted by LIT in this regard.

The LIT Chairman, Raman Balasumbraminum, however, defended the move saying that the first and foremost responsibility of the Trust was towards providing better amenities to the residents and earning profit from sale of land or properties was a secondary obligation.

The Trust, in its meetings held on September 25 and October 25 this year, had adopted two resolutions (nos. 183 and 195) for conversion of land measuring 1,350 square yards in Sunet village and L block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar (earmarked for 27 plots of 50 square yards each) and another 3,500 square yards land in Sunet and I block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar (earmarked for 35 plots of 100 square yards each) into green belts.

Besides, a triangular of chunk of 6,200 square yards adjoining to the proposed plotted area of 4,850 square yards, was also to be added to the land to be converted into green belts by amending the scheme under section 43 of the Punjab Town Improvement Act. The resolutions adopted by LIT had made mention of the recommendations made in this regard by Cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu (who represents the Ludhiana West Assembly segment in which these areas fall) and area councillor Hari Singh Brar.

A complaint lodged with the Punjab Government in the name of residents by one Gurdeep Singh challenges the justification of converting land meant to be sold for residential plots into green belts at such a juncture when LIT was facing resource crunch to continue with its development works. A plea has been made on behalf of the residents to the state government not to give its nod to the resolutions for conversion of land – meant for residential plots into green belt, which is a statutory requirement under provisions of the Punjab Town Improvement Act.

The LIT Chairman attributed the complaint against this move to vested interests upset over his resolve to cleanse the functioning of the Trust. “Since the day I took over, I have been fighting against the mafia of property dealers and colluding employees (of LIT). It is obvious that in frustration, these elements would oppose all decisions taken in the larger interests of the public,” he maintained.

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