The eight under glare

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 26.07.11

The report submitted by the chief secretary to the chief minister to find out if land allotments made by the Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (Biada) were irregular and favoured relatives/friends of some ministers, legislators and senior officials as alleged by the Opposition has been put up on the web. Excerpts from the report which details the allotments made to eight applicants with alleged VIP links:

Allottee: Rahmat Fatima Amanullah, daughter of social welfare minister Parveen Amanullah and principal secretary, water resources, Afzal Amanullah

Firm: RFA Company

CS report findings: On the basis of the application submitted by the firm on April 21, 2010, it was first allotted 10,000 sq ft of land in Patliputra Industrial Area at a price of Rs 42.65 lakh on December 12, 2010, for setting up squash and syrup production unit. The firm could not take possession of land as it was with the public health and engineering department. On May 24, 2011, the firm submitted application stating that the project size had increased and it needed 2 acres of land. The project clearance committee (PCC), in its meeting held on May 24, 2011, allotted 2 acres to the firm in Bihiya industrial area. Accordingly, the earlier allotment made to the firm in Patliputra Industrial Area was cancelled and sum of Rs 12.79 lakh deposited by it was adjusted. The firm was asked to deposit money for the Bihiya land at a rate of Rs 13.31 lakh per acre

CS report conclusion: After verification of documents, it is clear that no favour was extended to the firm and land was allotted to it in accordance with the set procedure

2. Allottee: Rahul Kumar, son of JD(U) MP Jagdish Sharma

Firm: Devlok Beverage Private Limited

CS report findings: Firm director Rahul Kumar submitted application on July 28, 2010, for setting up manufacturing unit of packaged drinking water in Hajipur. In the PCC meeting held on August 13, 2010, the firm was allotted 15,500 sq ft of land in Hajipur industrial area at a price of Rs 46,33,845. Lease deed was signed by firm director Rohit Kumar. The firm took possession of the land on November 26, 2010

CS report conclusion: Full transparency maintained in whole process. The price of the land was arrived at on the basis of formula fixed by Biada board of directors

3. Allottee: S.A. Bhimraja (Media claimed he was associated with S. Siddhartha, secretary to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, and his wife N. Vijayalakshmi, secretary, agriculture, in the Bihar government)

Firm: Nibhi Industries Private Limited

CS report findings: The firm applied for 6,53,400 sq ft of land for setting up a plant to manufacture asbestos cement corrugated and plain sheet at Industrial Growth Centre, Giddha, on August 24, 2009. The PCC in its meeting held on August 28, 2009, allotted 6,53,400 sq feet (15 acres) of land at a price of Rs 1,27,82,625. After full payment of the money, Biada, on October 28, 2009, issued orders for possession of land to the firm. The firm, on April 8, 2011, submitted a fresh application to Biada for 1.5 acres of land. The PCC, in its meeting on April 13, 2009, decided to give additional land to the firm at a price of Rs 15,36,143.

CS report conclusion: Production in this unit taking place since 2011. Transparency was maintained in allotting land to firm. CS office also had telephonic conversation with Bhimraja, during which he informed that he had no relations with Siddhartha and Vijyalakshmi and that he had never met them. Bhimraja also said that he had earlier wanted to shift from Bihar to Bengal, but the Biada MD convinced him to set up his plant in Bihar

4. Allottee: Urvashi Shahi, daughter of HRD minister PK Shahi. Urvashi is managing trustee of the trust to which the land was allotted

Firm: Maitreya Education Trust

CS report findings: Firm submitted application on March 9, 2011, for allocation of 2 acres of land for setting up Maitreya College of Education and Management. The PCC in its meeting held on March 16, 2011, approved the application and the 2-acre plot was allotted to the trust for Rs 1,06,80,000 at Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP), Hajipur. Land was allotted to the trust on March 17, 2011. Trust president Hemant Kumar paid the initial sum (30 per cent of the total amount) of Rs. 32,04,000 to Biada.

CS report conclusion: The Biada board of directors, at its 24th meeting on December 8, 2007, had decided that 20 per cent of the land in industrial areas can be given to educational institutions. A question was raised on whether land located at EPIP could be given to an educational institution. The report says the park was set up in the 1990s but it was never used for export. In 1996 too, land was allotted to educational institutions, Cipet, Pepsi (Lumbini) and later to Niper. On the basis of this, the industry department in 2006 issued a letter to Biada to allot land to entrepreneurs like in other industrial areas.

The findings deny media reports that the land was earlier allotted to TI cycles. “The land was neither allotted to TI cycles nor any application from TI cycles was received,” says the report

5. Allottees: Parimal, Ajay Kumar Sinha, Vijay Kumar, Kshitij. (Media reports claimed they were associated with IG-Prisons Anand Kishore)

Firm: Mother Teresa Medical Trust

CS report findings: Parimal submitted application on August 5, 2010, for allocation of 87,123 sq ft of land at Bihta industrial area for setting up a nursing home. The project was approved at the PCC meeting held on December 7, 2010, and the firm was asked to pay a sum of Rs 77,88,000. Trust secretary paid the initial amount of Rs 23,26,000 on December 13, 2010, after which Biada issued orders about possession of land on December 29, 2010

CS report conclusion: Set procedure was followed while making allotment. CS office also contacted Anand Kishore and he clarified that he didn’t have any relations with the entrepreneurs and also didn’t know them

6. Allottee: B.D. Singh (Media reports said he was associated with BJP MLC Awadhesh Narayan Singh)

Firm: Mother’s society for education and child development

CS report findings: Firm submitted application on November 30, 2010, requesting allocation of 10.53 acres of land at Mega Industrial Park, Bihta, for setting up an engineering college. The PCC, at its meeting on December 7, 2010, gave permission for allocation of 10.53 acres of land to the trust on provisional basis. The price of the land was fixed at Rs 4,10,03,820. Applicant paid the initial amount of Rs 1,23,01,146. Biada issued orders on January 14, 2011, for giving possession of land to the trust. The applicant had also submitted an application for reducing the rate of the land but no such decision was taken

CS report conclusion: When the CS office contacted BD Singh, he informed that he had no relation with the BJP MLC and he even didn’t know him

7. Allottees: Manas Kumar, Shailbala Shrivastava, Ravi Ranjan, Anjali Ashka (Media reports said the trust members had relations with BJP MLC Awadhesh Narayan Singh)

Firm: Trident Foundation

CS report findings: Trust submitted application on November 10, 2008, for allocation of 5 acres of land at Giddha for setting up educational institution. After three meetings of PCC, it was decided to allot 2,17,800 sq feet of land for Rs 42.6 lakh. When the firm deposited the required money, Biada, on July 20, 2009, issued orders for giving possession of land to the firm

CS report conclusion: Land allotted in accordance with set procedure. The report also says that Awadhesh Narayan Singh informed the CS office that one of the trustees, Ravi Ranjan, is his son-in-law and he had no stake in the trust or in the business of his son-in-law

8. Allottee: Ashok Kumar Choudhary (Saurabh Kumar, son of BJP MLA Ashok Kumar Agrawal, is a member of the board of directors of the firm)

Firm: Auro Sundaram International Private Limited

CS report findings: On October 27, 2010, firm applied for allocation of 13,30,256 sq feet of land in Forbesganj industrial area for setting up a unit to manufacture maize starch & liquid glucose. The PCC, at its meeting on October 30, 2009, decided to give 30 acre of the land to the firm at a price of Rs 76.23 lakh. Biada, in its letter issued on November 5, 2009, informed the firm about allocation details and also terms of payment. The firm submitted another application on March 19, 2010, and PCC, in its meeting on April 30, 2010, gave approval of allocation of additional 5.65 acres of land to the firm at a price of Rs 15.63 lakh. Biada issued orders in this regard on May 15, 2010

CS report conclusion: All norms followed while allotting land to the firm. CS office also contacted Ashok Choudhary and he informed that though he was a native of Bihar, he had migrated to Uttarakhand in 2004. He said that after a change in the state’s environment he returned to Bihar and has already invested about Rs 20 crore. He said he had no relations with BJP MLA Ashok Kumar Agrawal. Regarding Agrawal’s son Saurabh Kumar, Choudhary informed the CS office that he kept him on the board of directors for local help.

Overall findings of the CS report: Going by the records of the past two years, it becomes clear that apart from the aforesaid eight firms, pieces of land were allotted to 113 other firms at the same rate following the same procedure. “Hence, it becomes clear that no special favour was extended to these eight units,” the report concludes.