No seniority list in compensating land acquisition: Delhi Govt

The Central Information Commission has directed the Delhi Government to make public all information on allotment of alternate plots to people whose land has been "forcibly" acquired by it.

Updated: Feb 03, 2011, 16:17 PM IST

New Delhi: The Central Information
Commission has directed the Delhi Government to make public
all information on allotment of alternate plots to people
whose land has been "forcibly" acquired by it.

According to the Land and Building department nearly
10,000 people in the national capital are waiting to get
alternate plots, in some case for more than 24 years, in lieu
of their land acquired by the Government.

Taking cognisance of a case of an RTI applicant who is
waiting to get an alternate plot since 1986, the Central
Information Commission criticised the absence of any seniority
list in awarding such plots.

The case relates to an RTI applicant Alok Sharma, who
sought to know from Land and Building department a seniority
list for the alternative plots to be given to him, but was not
provided by the department.

During the hearing, the department accepted before the
Commission that Sharma`s land was acquired in 1986 and
alternate plot has not been provided so far. It also said
there is no seniority list for awarding such plots but some
persons have already been given.

"It appears that the Government has taken land from
citizens and has given alternate plots in an arbitrary and
random manner three years back. The respondent (the Land
Department) states that no fresh plots have allotment by the
Department in the last three years and the Department in its
leisurely, laggardly way is preparing a seniority list,"
Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi pointed out.

The Land and Building Department said the number of
claims of such plots is likely to be around 10,000 but it
could not guarantee any time frame within which the seniority
list will be prepared, he said.

Sharma alleged he was approached by touts in Land and
Building Department, who assured him a plot if he could grease
their palms.

"A Government which takes away land way from ordinary
citizens and has no mechanism to give alternate plots to these
persons in time bound and transparent manner gives rise to
institutionalised corruption...

"If the Government is sincere it is not very difficult
to ensure that the seniority list for all those who are
eligible for alternate plots can be made an put-up even in a
three month period," Gandhi said.

"The Principal Secretary Land and Building Department is
directed to put-up whatever data is available on the allotment
of alternate plots to citizens whose lands have been forcibly
acquired by the Government on the website before May 1 this
year," the Commissioner directed.

PTI