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Jalandhar

Posted at: Jul 14, 2018, 2:07 AM; last updated: Jul 14, 2018, 2:07 AM (IST)

Finally, JIT pays Rs 60 lakh to bank

Move saves Guru Gobind Singh Stadium from being sealed; Trust seeks one-time grant of Rs 100 cr

Rachna Khaira

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 13

The Jalandhar Improvement Trust (JIT) has finally managed to prevent Guru Gobind Singh Stadium from being sealed by paying Rs 60 lakh as part payment against a loan of Rs 113 crore taken from Punjab National Bank in 2011.

While confirming the development, Rajesh Chaudhary, Executive Officer, JIT, said he had written to the Punjab Government for a one-time grant of Rs100 crore.

“We have urged the state government to provide us a one-time grant of Rs 100 crore to repay the loan and carry out development works. We have not been able to carry out development as the entire revenue is being spent on paying monthly emi of around Rs 1.5 crore,” said Chaudhary.

Land worth Rs300 crore lying unused

At present, the JIT has vacant land worth Rs 300 crore at prime locations in the city. Despite that, it has gone bankrupt. Facing a shortage of staff, the Trust has not been able to complete its existing projects due to which people have stopped paying installments.

Over and above, the monthly emis have further dented its fiscal health. While the existing projects are lying suspended, the new projects also could not take off in the past many years.

Staff shortage hits working

The Trust authorities could not meet the recovery targets as pending arrears of over Rs 10 crore are yet to be recovered from over 200 defaulters. As per Trust officials, they are also facing staff crunch for sending notices to the defaulters.

Chunks of prime land given on lease

The Trust authorities were also mired in controversy for giving chunks of prime land on lease to Apeejay College for Rs1 per year and MGN Education Trust for Rs600 per year.

Things yet to be set in order

While Punjab Local Bodies Minister’s visit to the city last month has kept officials of the Municipal Corporation on their toes, the minister is yet to take a call to set things in order at the JIT.

While files of major projects, including Apeejay College and MGN Education Trust, had gone missing many years ago, no police case has been registered till date.

Though Sidhu had identified over 93 illegal buildings and has sought a comprehensive report on them, he is yet to take a call to seek details of the prime properties leased out at throw away prices to big corporate houses.

The minister is yet to seek details of alleged commercial activities taking place on the Trust’s leased land chunks without proper approval.

Possession yet to be taken

The JIT is yet to get the possession of its two properties located at prime locations in the city. Despite winning the case in the Supreme Court, it failed to get its 110 acres of land in GTB Nagar cleared from encroachers.

EO Chaudhary said the Trust was facing a very peculiar situation in this case. “While we have won the case in the apex court, the descendents of the encroachers keep on filing new cases and keeping the issue sub judice for one reason or the other,” added Chaudhary.

The JIT has failed to get the possession of its other prime land chunk where Dhobi Ghat is established in the past many years. The chunk of land is of 30 canals and can be utilised to develop a major commercial hub.

Trust to hold auction soon

Worried about its commitment to pay another Rs 40 lakh to the bank by next month, the JIT is now planning to hold an auction of its properties this month.

While informing this, Chaudhary told The Tribune that allotment letters had been issued to over 10 persons.

Commercial properties will be put on auction.

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