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BJP rulers in illegal property deals in Himachal: Virabhadra

Saturday April 02, 2011 06:48:24 PM, IANS

Shimla: Top political functionaries of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Himachal Pradesh are involved in illegal property transactions and promoting realtors in the state, union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Virbhadra Singh said here Saturday.

"The entire Himachal Pradesh is up for sale," Singh, a five-time former chief minister and Congress leader who is currently touring the state, told reporters.

Without naming anybody, he said Bantony Estate, a prime British-era property near Scandal Point in Shimla, has been purchased by a private party.

"The previous Congress regime was trying to use the heritage property for public purposes. Now, a private party has taken control over it. One day you will find it will be deliberately put on fire (to build a new structure there)," the minister alleged.

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.

"A thick prime forest was axed overnight by the realtor. Environment and construction clearances were given to it in a single day by the government," he said.

He also sought action against another colonizer for felling a large number of trees for setting up a housing project in Kasauli in Solan district.

"All the 'benami' (illegal) property deals being executed by the BJP government would be probed if the Congress comes to power in the next assembly elections," Singh said.

Last month, Congress legislators disrupted the proceedings of the assembly against the felling of trees by construction companies.

Congress member Kaul Singh Thakur questioned the government's decision to allow an infrastructure company to build cottages in Shimla.

He said Shimla is facing a water shortage, besides traffic chaos, and such projects would only add to the woes of the people.

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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