LIT goes slow on Lodhi Club in Ludhiana

Fails to act against ‘violations’ by club management

LIT goes slow on Lodhi Club in Ludhiana

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 25

Sounds strange but it is true and a matter of record that the management of an elite club of the city, Lodhi Club, or the original allottee (Ludhiana Aviation Club) of 12,507 square yards land in I Block of the posh Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar Colony, developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), have not paid any money towards the cost of land or subsequent enhancement charges.

The club, with the Deputy Commissioner as its ex-officio president, has allegedly committed violations such as illegal change of land use, construction of building without approved building plan, and has not obtained completion/occupancy certificate or NOC from the Fire Department. Besides, the club has allegedly encroached upon part of road and green belt for parking and placement of power generator.

That the LIT authorities apparently develop cold feet when it comes to taking any penal action against the allottee club for violations galore which is evident from the fact that as many as 18 show-cause notices have been served on it to date for various defaults and violations, the latest having been sent on February 7, 2019, asking to show cause as to why allotment of land should not be cancelled for non-payment of the dues, unauthorised construction, violation of allotment terms and other irregularities. However, no follow-up action was taken on this notice as well.

In a complaint lodged with the Punjab Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Local Government, Director of Local Bodies, and the Chief Town Planner, Local Government, with copies to the LIT Chairman, the Deputy Commissioner and others, a city-based RTI activist, Baljeet Singh, has sought their intervention so that action as per law be taken against the allottee of this prime land which has an estimate market value of Rs 125 crore, and officials of the Trust, who had failed to perform their duty diligently, be identified and proceeded against.

Alleging that LIT was not strictly dealing with the matter, the complainant said recently, the Punjab State Information Commission (PSIC) had imposed a penalty of Rs 5,000 upon the Public Information Officer (Executive Officer) of the Trust for failure to provide complete and specific information about allotment of land to Ludhiana Aviation Club (where Lodi Club is functional at present) under the Right to Information Act.

“The Commission has further directed the PIO to be personally present on the next date of hearing of the appeal case in this matter on April 1, 2020, and provide the requisite information to the applicant,” said the complainant who is also the appellant in the case pending before the PSIC.

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