The Telegraph
Friday , April 6 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Land allotment probe demand

Shillong, April 5: The Meghalaya government is under pressure to act on the alleged illegal allotment of land to bureaucrats at New Shillong Township in Mawdiangdiang following an adverse comptroller and auditor-general (CAG) report.

Today, the Meghalaya BJP asked chief minister Mukul Sangma to constitute an independent inquiry to probe the matter.

In the report for the year ending March 31, 2011, the CAG pointed out that, “Unauthorised allotment of land to the Civil Service Officers Housing Cooperative Society Limited and incorrect fixation of premium at a lower rate, resulted in undue financial benefit of Rs 78.42 lakh to the society, besides allotment of land in excess of the prescribed limit.”

Referring to the report, state BJP general secretary Dipayan Chakraborty, in a statement, said, “It seems that the state has no elected government and the bureaucrats are running the show.”

He also said the chief minister as the head of the government needs to inform the people on the issue.

“We sincerely feel that a thorough independent inquiry should be ordered in the allotment of land to the bureaucrats,” the BJP leader added.

The CAG report has also stated that the land provided was in excess of what was prescribed, while an incorrect assessment of the value of the land led to the short realisation of revenue.

For construction of houses for its members, the Civil Service Officers Housing Cooperative Society Limited in January 2006 applied to the revenue department for an allotment of 45.01-acre plot of government-acquired land in New Shillong Township.

The township is in Mawdiangdiang, nearly 13km northeast of Shillong.

On Tuesday, the Social Organisations of Meghalaya Against Land Alienation (Somala), a conglomerate of civil society groups, had written to the chief minister to take firm and drastic steps to restore the loss of land to the government, which would lead to restoration of people’s confidence in the government.

The BJP was also concerned over reports of rampant corruption in the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Ri Bhoi district.

“We are receiving complaints from our people in Ri Bhoi district. This has again exposed that in name of giving jobs to poor people, the money has been looted,” Chakraborty added.