Himachal government promoting realtors: Congress

May 14th, 2011 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Shimla, May 14 (IANS) The opposition Congress Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Himachal Pradesh of involvement in illegal property transactions and land allocations to realtors in the state.

It also said that even the sitting parliament member of the ruling party has demanded a narco-analysis test on the chief minister on the corruption issue.

“The government is promoting realtors in the state. Colonisers and builders are involved along with top state functionaries in hatching land deals despite strict land laws,” state Congress president Kaul Singh told reporters here.

He said two ministers, including one belonging to Solan town, were involved with land grabbers.

“The party demands complete ban on development of apartments by private builders in Shimla town. No outsider should be allowed to buy flats in this town,” he said.

He said even BJP’s sitting MP Rajan Sushant is demanding narco-analysis test of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his cabinet ministers in connection with the corruption charges.

Sushant, who was a minister in the previous Dhumal government in 1998, has also threatened to issue a list of corrupt persons, occupying high positions in the state.

Last month, senior Congress leader and Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Virbhadra Singh also accused the state government of involvement in illegal property deals.

“The entire Himachal Pradesh is up for sale,” Singh, a five-time former chief minister, said here.

He slammed the state government for allowing a private builder associated with a Delhi-based company to build an ultra-luxurious housing project in Shimla.

Following Congress allegations, Dhumal earlier this month announced that a committee of legislators has been constituted to look into the issue.

The seven-member committee, headed by legislator Suresh Bhardwaj, will review the Himachal Pradesh Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 2005, that allows the realtors to construct housing complexes.

“If the apartment act requires some amendments (to check the builders), the committee would make suggestions. It will examine whether the state requires the act or not. It will review all permissions granted till March 31,” the chief minister said.

Under Himachal Pradesh land laws, only the state’s permanent residents can buy land in the state.

Others who want to purchase land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek relaxation under Section 118 of the tenancy and land reforms law from the government.

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