Court notice on transfer of land for cricket stadium

July 11th, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, July 11 (IANS) A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Friday issued notices to the Punjab government and Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) on a proposal to transfer agricultural land meant for research for building a multi-million cricket stadium near Bathinda town in southwest Punjab. Chief Justice Vijender Kumar Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed jointly by Congress legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Sarabjit Singh, a farmer from Ludhiana.

The notice were also served on Department of Sports and Youth Services and the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana.

The petition challenged the government’s move to transfer over 25 acres of prime agricultural land, used for agriculture research by PAU scientists for decades, for building a world-class cricket stadium in Bathinda, 300 km from here.

The petition contended that the land was acquired by the Punjab government in November 1984 for setting up a regional research station of PAU specifically keeping in mind the peculiarities of the area like poor quality underground water, high salt concentration in soil, sandy soil and sand dunes, poor yield of crops and other problems.

It pointed out that research carried out at the station helped Punjab’s green revolution in the Bathinda belt and the move to wind up the centre to replace it with a cricket stadium was illogical and anti-farmer.

The district administration sought the land from PAU on a 99-year-lease without any payable rent or cost of the land. The new stadium would be built on the lines of the PCA stadium in Mohali near here.

The next hearing on the matter has been posted for July 21.

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