The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) on Thursday registered a criminal case against former minister Sunder Sham Arora, Neelima, IAS, and 10 other government officials for transferring an industrial plot to a realtor company and thereby allowing it to establish a township. Three owners of the realtor firm, Gulmohar Township Private Limited have been booked in connection with this case.
The VB has arrested seven officials of Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) which included Ankur Chaudhary who is the Estate Officer, Davinderpal Singh (GM Personnel), Ashima Aggarwal ATP (Planning), JS Bhatia chief general manager (Planning), Parminder Singh Executive (Engineer) and others for providing undue benefit to the realtor firm.
What is the case all about?
A spokesperson of the state Vigilance Bureau said that the Punjab Government had allotted 25 acres of land to 'Anand Lamps Limited' in the year 1987 which was later transferred to the firm, 'Signify Innovations.' This plot was later sold to 'Gulmohar Township' by 'Signify Innovations' after procuring a no-objection certificate from the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC).
In March 2021, Industry and Commerce minister Sundar Sham Arora forwarded a letter to then MD PSIDC received from 'Gulmohar Township' for further bifurcation of plots. The VB's spokesperson further added that according to the deed of 1987, this plot was to be used for industrial purposes only. However, the said 'Gulmohar Township' was not used for any such purpose.
He further added that according to the PSIDC's rules, the fee for plots was to be charged at the rate of Rs. 20 per yard and Rs. 3 per year from 1987, which was a total fee of Rs.1,51,25,000 for a total of 1,21,000 square yards and due to this, the Government of Punjab incurred financial loss of Rs. 1,23,42,000.
(With inputs from agencies)
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