Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 20
Reminiscent of the Tata Camelot project, whereinleaders from across the political spectrum in Punjab had joined hands for a multi-storeyed housing project, 112 Punjab MLAs and MPs of the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal will soon be getting luxurious apartments in Eco City — a township coming up in New Chandigarh.
These sitting and former MLAs and MPs have formed the Punjab Legislators Cooperative House Building Society, which has been allotted 2.5 acres in Mullanpur (New Chandigarh) by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) at Rs 10.83 crore per acre.
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A hush-hush meeting of the society, which has former MLA and chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board Lal Singh as its president, was held here this afternoon.
More than 70 MLAs who attended the meeting re-elected Singh as president and builder NK Sharma, SAD’s Zirakpur MLA, as cashier. A nine-member committee was reportedly elected to call for tenders to build the multi-storey apartments on a cost-to-cost basis. To make the society more “inclusive” (read rope in first-time MLAs), it was decided to throw open the membership till June 20. The new entrants will have to pay a membership fee of Rs 20 lakh each.
In March 2015, the 117 MLAs of the 14th Vidhan Sabha had passed a resolution in the House, asking the then Parkash Singh Badal government to provide land to sitting and some formers MLAs for high-end apartments. While debating “housing woes,” they had urged the Speaker that the government be urged to provide land on concessional rates, since “the majority of sitting MLAs don’t own a house in or around Chandigarh.”
However, most members of the Punjab Legislators Coop House Building Society own sprawling bungalows in the city or its peripheral townships. MLA Sharma said: “There were no concessions, we were allotted the land at Rs 11 crore per acre after GMADA invited applications from housing societies. We will soon float tenders. We have told the members they may withdraw, if they so desire, by June 10.”
Third time lucky?
- There have been two unsuccessful attempts by Punjab MLAs to own a dream house in Chandigarh’s vicinity
- 126 sitting, former MLAs in 2007 gave 21.2 acres in Kansal to a top housing company for a multi-storeyed housing project, Tata Camelot, in exchange for a flat and Rs 82.5 lakh each
- In 2014, a society of over 40 sitting and former MLAs was duped by two land developers on the pretext of selling them land in Mohali’s Sectors 113-114 on the Kharar-Landran road
- The developers allegedly diverted Rs 13.38 crore they had received from the MLAs to fund a Punjabi film; they had prepared three agreements to sell the land, all of which turned out to be fake
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