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Pb CM Amarinder buys land in Mohali to build farmhouse

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Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has bought a piece of land in Mohali area where he plans to build a farm house, his media adviser said here today.

"CM Captain Amarinder Singh has bought about six acres of land at Siswan village area of Mohali. The land was bought for about Rs 3.50 crore and it was registered on January 3. It will be for his personal use," said Raveen Thukral, the chief minister's media adviser.

Amarinder Singh plans to build a farm house on the land, he added.

The primary purpose of the purchase by the chief minister was agricultural, with a cottage being planned for the farm house, he said. The bulk of the plot, even though not covered by the Punjab Land Preservation Act, would have a tree cover, as envisioned by Amarinder Singh, said the media adviser.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government dismissed as baseless, fabricated and malicious the allegations by Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira against the chief minister regarding the land purchase.

Claiming that Khaira was spreading "mischievous and deceitful propaganda", Thukral said the land purchased by Amarinder Singh was not in Palanpura, as was being projected, but in Siswan, which was denotified by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) way back in 2011.

Thukral pointed out that the plot was no longer covered under PLPA since it was denotified on Aug 24, 2011, by then Financial Commissioner and Secretary to the government of Punjab, Department of Forests & Wildlife Preservation.

Khaira should have done his homework and got his facts right before resorting to wild allegations, said Thukral.

Khaira was engaging in brazenly unfounded and spiteful personal attacks on the chief minister by resorting to "blatant falsehoods, said Thukral.

Except for Khasra numbers 174 and 175 (which amounted to three Bighas and 19 Biswas), the remaining land, measuring 24 Bighas and 6 Biswas, was denotified in 2011, he said.

The two Khasras that are still under PLPA can only be used for forestation, Thukral disclosed, in a statement issued here.

"So there was no question of any violation of the law," he Thukral.

The chief minister would also be taking all the necessary permissions, as required under the law, for building the proposed cottage on the purchased land as and when the time for construction comes, said Thukral.

AAP MLA and the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira had earlier accused Amarinder Singh of breach of oath of office and secrecy and also raised the issue of conflict of interest in buying the land.

In a complaint to Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Khaira said, "My complaint pertains to the purchase of six acres of land at a village in Mohali district by Amarinder Singh on January 3, 2018".

"As per Punjab Government Notification dated 3rd February 2003, the said area is covered under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA). I have learnt through media reports today, that the Punjab Government is likely to let the PLPA notification pertaining to villages surrounding Chandigarh lapse after the February 3, 2018.

"In other words it would mean a windfall for land sharks, who have bought large chunks of land in this ecologically fragile area of Shivalik foothills, who were barred from any sort of construction or ground breaking due to the said PLPA of 1900," Khaira alleged.

It now appears that Amarinder Singh was well aware of this fact that the PLPA notification would lapse on February 3, hence any piece of land bought would ultimately be allowed for residential or commercial use, which would sky rocket the prices by atleast 10 times, alleged Khaira.

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First Published: Jan 30 2018 | 10:20 PM IST

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