Monday, 30th October 2017

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Ranchi plot buyers not taken in by minister's promise of quick fix

Families have waited 8 years to get plots they bought from housing board. Now they fear vested interests

By Raj Kumar in Ranchi
  • Published 8.02.19, 12:05 AM
  • Updated 8.02.19, 12:05 AM
  • 2 mins read
State housing board office in Ranchi Telegraph picture

Over 200 families, who have been waiting for eight years to get Jharkhand State Housing Board plots even though they had got allotment letters, have welcomed minister C.P. Singh’s assurance of a quick resolution, but aren’t getting their hopes up.

“It is difficult to rely on the statement of the minister till I get possession of the 600sq feet plot in Harmu. The minister may have said the matter will be resolved, but it doesn’t mean that things will go in our favour as there are vested interests involved,” said Arun Kumar, an employee of a private firm, who deposited Rs 8 lakh to the board after his name came up in the lottery conducted in August 20, 2011.

Bittu Kumari, a homemaker, who paid Rs 4 lakh for a 1400sq feet plot in Harmu agreed.

“I am happy, but it is difficult to rely on the promises made in an election year. Let me get possession of the plot first. So far, I feel cheated. If the intention of the government was clear, it would have acted earlier,” she said.

BJP MLA Biranchi Narayan raised the issue of Jharkhand State Housing Board allotments in the Assembly on Wednesday.

He said the board had published an advertisement for allotting plots in Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh and Daltonganj through lottery in June, 2011. In August, an allotment list was released wherein 209 applicants were short-listed.

The board collected full price of the land from 39 of those chosen. The remaining paid half price as instalment.

But in April 2015, the board cancelled the allotments citing procedural lapses in the lottery. The aggrieved applicants approached Jharkhand High Court which quashed the boards’ decision.

“But despite this, the board has not allotted plots to applicants,” the MLA told the House.

In his reply, urban development minister C.P. Singh promised to resolve the matter by the end of March.

But like Arun and Bittu, Hare Krishna Kumar, a central government employee, also expressed doubts about the government’s sincerity.

“It will be like getting a lost property back if the minister’s statement comes true. But I don’t think it is that easy. I had taken a Rs 12 lakh bank loan to pay for the plot. I spent Rs 2 lakh on the construction of a boundary when I was asked to stop further construction saying lottery was cancelled,” he called.