Mayawati government stalls Congress trust building

February 11th, 2009 - 3:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiLucknow, Feb 11 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government has stalled the construction of a building established by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) in Rae Bareli, the parliamentary constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, officials said Wednesday. Rae Bareli Development Authority (RBDA) has stalled the construction of the building of RGCT coming up near the Dillihar village in Rae Bareli.

According to RBDA officials, the construction work was stalled, as the layout plan of the building was not approved.

“Acting on a report prepared by the RBDA engineers that the construction (of the building) was going on without the approval of the layout plan, we stopped the construction Tuesday,” Alok Kumar, officer on special duty (OSD), RBDA, told IANS on telephone.

“We have also asked the district magistrate and the police authorities to ensure no further construction is done,” he added.

The construction of the building started in December for providing residential facilities to those undertaking womens’ empowerment, literacy promotion and other social welfare programme in Rae Bareli district, officials said.

Now, activists of the Congress party allege that the RBDA’s move to stop the construction smacks of political vendetta.

“It is clear. First it was the rail coach factory and now this time it is the building. The Uttar Pradesh government is making every effort to obstruct the welfare activities being undertaken at Rae Bareli,” Congress party spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh told IANS.

Asked whether the layout of the building was approved or not Singh said: “It was only the RBDA that allowed us to go ahead with the construction saying that the site where the building was coming up does not come in its limit.”

“The construction work started around two-months back. Why did the RBDA officials not stop the work at that time?”

The RGCT was started by Gandhi in 2002. The trust is involved in various rural development activities including womens’ empowerment, self help groups, literacy and education, vocational training and community medicine.

Chief Minister Mayawati in October had stalled the work related to the construction of a Rs.20 billion ($408 million) rail coach factory.

The work on the factory, to come up on about 1,000 acres, was stalled when Mayawati refused to transfer 189.253 acres of land under the state government ownership, citing opposition by local people.

The decision sparked off political controversy as Mayawati also tried to stop Gandhi from addressing a rally there.

The Mayawati government’s decision was challenged in the Allahabad High Court but later the state relented and decided to grant the land to the railways on lease.

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