Rashmi Talwar

Indo-Pak Border – Punjab’s Min orders an inquiry into purchase of 700 acres borderland at exorbitant prices by Badal govt

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Amritsar: Punjab’s Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal on Sunday ordered an inquiry into the sale of 700 acres of land located on the Indo-Pak border in the Ranian sector of Punjab purchased by the Agriculture Department in Ranian village.

“Located on the sensitive international border, this land was purchased by the then government for a seed farm in the year 2008 at Rs 32 Crore,”  the minister said.

He said that this land was bought at a very high price during the government of Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal when Sucha Singh Langah was the Agriculture Minister and Kahan Singh Pannu was the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar.

The agriculture minister informed: “This land is beyond the Ravi river and has been bound and installed with barbed wire on the border. The government bought the land in the year 2008 for four and a half lakh rupees per acre. It is strange that you cannot even enter the land without BSF’s permission.”

He further stated that an inquiry will probe into the facts that the said land was procured and purchased under which ‘scheme’.

For this reason, the government intends to find registered farmers and owners and their families to whom the land belonged before it was purchased, to expose the entire truth.”

The minister said, “I am pained to see reeds and wild grass growing in the said land which could only be cultivated for three or four seasons.”

He said an additional Rs 8 crore was also spent for the purchase of 30 submersible tube wells for water, electricity, and agricultural implements including tractors, generators, and other machinery. He said that he had visited the area, “I am saddened as to how government’s money was misused. Even today the machinery bought on the farm is getting damaged and the land has become barren.”

He said that now again the use of this land will be considered, by bringing it to the notice of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in coordination with the Central Government, since its route is under BSF, it will be used appropriately.

On this occasion, Chairman Baldev Singh Singh Khamdiyan, District Agriculture Officer Dr. Jatinder Singh Gill, S.DM. Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Deputy Commandant Parvinder Singh Bajwa, SHO Lopoke Harpal Sohi, and Agriculture Officers were present.

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