Controversial e-auction, conversion of green belts to plots showed LIT in a bad light: The Tribune India

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Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 26

In the year which is about to end, however, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has remained in the news, but mostly for the wrong reasons. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that 2021 has turned out to be the “most controversial year” for the autonomous body under the leadership of Raman Balasubramnium.

Several issues such as controversial electronic auctions, converting special purpose sites or green belts to residential land, offers to change the names of existing projects, arguing with trustees or spending more money. money in other parts of the city for development at the cost of its own settlements, allegations of cash for selected plots (under the LDP quota) and massive irregularities in invitations and call assignments offers worth crore rupees grabbed the spotlight showing the institution in a bad light.

On the positive side, the two-story high-rise housing program – Atal Apartments, has been relaunched for the construction of HIG and MIG apartments in multi-storey towers. New roads and streets were built / repaired, interlocking tiles were laid and parks were equipped and beautified in some of the LIT settlements.

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Online auction of commercial land in Model Town Extension: The sale of prime 3.75-acre commercial land in the Model City Extension to an industrial real estate developer can easily be called the biggest controversy of the year for LIT. Amid allegations of land being sold at a throwaway price by all major opposition parties, the case has been taken to the High Court. A committee, headed by the deputy commissioner, denied setting the reserve price for the land and the Punjab government canceled the auction with instructions for a new auction at a revised reserve price. On the sidelines of this controversy, the president of the LIT filed a defamation complaint against certain political leaders and members of the media fraternity.

Transformation of green belt, parks into residential plots: In an effort to create more residential plots and possibly generate more income, LIT has resorted to land-use change in its urban plans (TP) by transforming green belts and parks into residential plots, which was not only unjustified, but also illegal. Attempts were made to carve up residential plots in Shahhed Bhagat Sigh Nagar on a site reserved for the school and later at the community center. Likewise, plots were dug in a green belt and parks in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.

Unsold built commercial complex: Another year has passed, but the Trust’s ‘white elephant’ – a 2.22-acre built-up shopping complex in an upscale neighborhood of Maharani Jhansi Road – remained unsold even after the fourth (or perhaps the fifth). ) attempt. LIT made another desperate but unsuccessful attempt to sell the resort at a reduced reserve price of Rs 157 crore (from Rs 197 crore). The resort did not find any buyers and not even a single offer was received for the “poisoned” property.

Row with the trustees: The president of the LIT, known for his outbursts against the leaders of the opposition parties for their criticism of his working methods, did not spare even the administrators appointed by the government of Punjab and among the ranks of Congress. He had verbal duels with some of them more than once and went so far as to use uncharitable language with at least one of them. To protest the chairman’s attitude, trustees left a meeting and Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu had to intervene to get trustees to sign the meeting’s agenda.

Tops

Atal Apartments: The Trust’s only significant achievement during the year was the relaunch of the first two-story high-rise housing program, Atal Apartments, in an area of ​​8.80 acres at Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road here with the Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi carrying (or rather laying) the stone earlier this month. The complex would have 11 towers with 576 residential apartments (336 HIG and 240 MIG) with all modern amenities. But even that project was mired in a little controversy as the president wanted his name to change after the legendary Urdu poet Sahir Ludhianavi. However, apparently common sense prevailed, the government put its foot down and the project was relaunched under the same name.

Infrastructure development: LIT has executed a number of urban infrastructure development improvement projects in several settlements where roads and streets have been reconstructed, parks have been equipped and beautified, LED street lights have been installed, water supply has been increased and the drainage system has been improved. In several places, interlocking tiles were installed in the walking and parking areas of major markets.

Event of the year: The ‘event of the year’ award rightly goes to a businessman who set up a ‘farri’ in front of the Trust’s office to sell ‘moogphaali’ while bringing corruption charges against the president and the executive board for approval of the deed of sale.

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