Amritsar (Punjab) [India], November 27 (ANI): Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal on Sunday said that 700 acres of land across the international border at village Ranian in district Amritsar, which was purchased on exorbitant prices by the agriculture department in the name of seed farm in 2008 at a cost of Rs 32 crore, will be thoroughly probed.
Addressing the media persons after visiting the land, the minister said during the Parkash Singh Badal government, when Sucha Singh Langah was the Agriculture minister and Kahan Singh Pannu was the deputy commissioner of Amritsar district, the piece of land was bought at a very high price.
He said the then government purchased this land in 2008 at Rs 4.5 lakh per acre, which is across Ravi river and the barbed wire on the international border and even one cannot enter this land without the prior permission of Border Security Force (BSF).
"An investigation will be conducted under which 'scheme' this land was purchased at that time. We will find the farmers who sold this land and the prior owners to find out the truth," Dhaliwal said.
Expressing concern over the thick and tall growth of the elephant grass on the land, which had been cultivated three or four times, Dhaliwal said, "There must be something fishy as how could a chief minister, agriculture minister and deputy commissioner, who were also belonged to farmer families, can buy this land at such an exorbitant price?"
He informed that around Rs 8 crore were also spent for purchasing equipment, including 30 submersible tubewells for irrigation, electricity and tractors, generators and other machinery, adding, "I am saddened to see how public money had been misused for this land, which became barren and the machinery is not in working condition."
"I will bring this matter into the notice of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and cultivation on this land will be considered after coordinating with the Union government as only the BSF (Border Security Force) can allow anyone to go there," he added. (ANI)