Phagwara, March 24
The Water Resources Department has failed to implement directions from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) to release the balance amount of contract-cum-lease money to the panchayat of Gag Dhagara village.
Never-ending wait since 2002
The gram panchayat in its meeting held on November 19, 2002, had passed a resolution for recovering the pending amount of Rs 1,48,15,757 from the Mining Department and the Bock Development and Panchayat Officer, Nurmahal block. The resolution was sent to the then Phillaur SDM, but the panchayat is yet to get the money.
The CMO, taking note of the panchayat’s efforts for the last seven years to receive the balance amount of contract-cum lease money has directed the Principal Secretary of the department to do the needful. The CMO, in an e-mail to the Principal Secretary, Water Resources Department, on February 24 forwarded a news report saying that the trail e-mail received pertained to his department and he should take immediate action as per government rules and policy in the matter.
Dilbag Singh, a resident of Bainapur village and social activist, had sent a news report on the non-receipt of the contract-cum lease money by the panchayat to the CMO.
The news report said the gram panchayat of the last village of Jalandhar district’s boundary, situated on the Sutlej, Gag Dhagara, is being made to run from pillar to post for the past seven years to receive the balance amount of contract-cum-lease money toward the panchayat land auctioned in his favour by the Mining Department for extraction of minor minerals.
Gag Dhagara sarpanch Banat Kaur had said the sarpanch and former sarpanch of the village had filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2015 seeking directions to a private contractor to deposit the balance amount of contract-cum-lease money towards the gram panchayat land auctioned in his favour by the Mining Department.
Justice Surya Kant and Justice PB Bajanthri while disposing of the petition had said in their judgment on February 2, 2016, that the needful including the determination of the amount payable by a private contractor shall be done within three months. It had said as soon as the adjudication took place, the Mining Department would deduct that amount from the security deposit and release the gram panchayat’s share within a month.
The sarpanch said an amount of Rs 1,48,15,757 was deducted by the Mining Department from the security of a private contractor but still not paid to the gram panchayat. She said the gram panchayat in its meeting held on November 19, 2002, had passed a resolution for recovering the pending amount of Rs 1,48,15,757 from the Mining Department and the Bock Development and Panchayat Officer, Nurmahal block, sent the resolution to the then SDM, Phillaur, but the panchayat was waiting for the release of the amount. She said the Mining Department auctioned the village khud in 2013 which remained operational till 2015.
Nurmahal BDPO Dhara Kakarr had said the District Mining Officer told her that the amount in question would be released by the headquarters as it had auctioned the mining khud and deducted money from the contractor’s deposit and that he had sent a report to senior officials. The sarpanch said she has received no information in this regard.
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