Rakhi Jagga, Thu Aug 12 2010, 01:04 hrs
Failure to construct an engineering college on panchayat land in Chuwarianwali village has cost the Sri Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Charitable Trust dear.
The trust was allotted 25 acres of land free of cost by the village panchayat in 2001, and it was supposed to construct a college within three years according to the terms and conditions.
The allotment was cancelled by the panchayat and rural development department around three months ago. With the intervention of local MLA Surjit Kumar Jayani, however, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal ordered to restore only 12.5 acres. The remaining land has been given back to the village panchayat.
The trust, meanwhile, has pleaded innocence in the case. Members claim the land had been entangled in a litigation since its allotment and the case was finally settled in 2003 after which the CM laid the foundation stone. Another case cropped up soon after and construction of the college had to be stopped midway.
Jayani said due to the pending court cases, the trust could not complete the project on time.
The trust also plans to file another appeal before the rural development department to restore the entire 25 acres. "If all goes well, the college affiliated to Punjab Technical University will start functioning from next year," said a trust member.
J P Singh, Divisional Deputy Director, Rural Development and Panchayat, Ferozepur, confirmed the development and said the government had decided to restore only half of the land to "teach a lesson" to the NGO and set an example for others not to take the government for granted.