No land relief after 37 years; 77-year-old moves CIC

Amid a debate on land acquisition, three departments dealing with the issue here–DDA, Land Acquisition Collectors, and Land and Building–are “harassing” land owners in the matters of giving compensation, the Central Information Commission has held.

The case came before Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu, when 77-year-old Lajinder Singh came with the plea that he was not getting proper response on his RTI applications, through which he wanted to know the status of compensation for his land acquired 37 years ago in 1977-78.

“The whole country is suffering from problems of land acquisition, and Lajinder Singh is an example of victim of lethargic attitude of government. The Commission also finds these three departments highly non-responsive. They should have human concern for these victims,” Acharyulu said.

Singh claimed he is the second generation in the family fighting for compensation after his father died waiting for it and none of the three departments has given him proper response to his queries.

Pulling up the departments, Acharyulu said,“The Commission finds serious responsibility on the part of the respondent authority. The Commission had seen several RTI applications from poor land owners whose land were acquired around 1977-78 like Lajinder Singh in this case.” 

He said, “The Commission notices that these three public authorities are harassing the land owners.” 

The CIC ordered framing of a detailed note on the queries of Singh and also problems raised by him regarding compensation issues faced by land owners. Acharyulu also issued a show cause notice to Land and Building Department seeking to know why a penalty be not imposed for evasive replies. Acharyulu said it was “pathetic” to note that Singh, 77, has to fight for compensation since 1978 against lethargic authorities to get compensation.

“Three departments– DDA, LAC and L and B, are playing ping pong with the applicants. These three offices conveniently said the question does not pertain to them, they either transferred it to other departments and even did not do anything. The Commission notices that these three public authorities are harassing the land owners,” he said.

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