Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority
Siliguri: Minister Gautam Deb today alleged that the erstwhile Left Front government had given land to a private realty firm at a rate less than the prevailing market price in 2003 and officials of the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority were involved in the deal.
The property was later developed as Uttarayan township on the outskirts of Siliguri.
“We have been investigating the deal in which around 400 acres were given at a price less than the market rate. Representatives of the SJDA, including a former chairman, were involved in the deal,” Deb, the north Bengal development minister who is also the SJDA chairman, said today.
Deb’s allegation came a day after CPM leaders, including former minister and SJDA chairman Asok Bhattacharya, has demanded a CBI probe into the SJDA scam.
“We have some information about Uttarayon. The total area is 775.84 acres. Of that, the state gave 393.25 acres to a private firm in 2003 against Rs 12.29 crore. The market price was around Rs 56 crore which means, the state lost Rs 44 crores,” Deb said. “We came to know from a solicitor firm probing the case that around 39.24 acres additional land were given to the firm for no money.”
According to an agreement signed by the state, the SJDA and the WBIDC each had 8 per cent share in the project and the remaining 84 per cent was with the private realtor group.
“Some CPM leaders tried to say the SJDA had no role. Then how did the SJDA get 8 per cent share? The SJDA has got a dividend of about Rs 36.8 lakh from the firm. The additional 39.24 acres would cost Rs 200 crores today,” Deb added.
Today, Bhattacharya said: “The minister is trying to divert the attention from Saradha and SJDA scams and coming up with baseless allegations.”