By: ML Verma
Shimla (Dec 24): The BJP government in Himachal Pradesh has allowed Team Anna member and prominent lawyer Prashant Bhushan special permission to buy land in the state, a right only allowed to the state’s permanent residents, state government reply in the recent assembly session that concluded yesterday in Dharamshala had confirmed.
In a written reply to a query from Congress leader Sudhir Sharma, public works Minister Gulab Singh said yesterday that the state government had given permission to Kumud Bhushan Educational Society, Kandwari, through Prashant Bhushan, son of Shanti Bhushan, resident of B-16, Sector 14, Noida (UP), for purchasing tea gardens under Section 118.
In a written reply, the minister told the House that during period January 1, 2008, to November 30, 2011, land use changes of only 4-66-28 hectares (4.66 of tea gardens) had been allowed on purchase under Section 118.
Kandbari is in Palampur, known for tea gardens in the hills state. Under Himachal Pradesh land laws, only the state’s permanent residents can buy land in the state. Others who want to purchase land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek relaxations under Section 118 of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act from the state government.
Last month, the Bhushans visited Palampur to attend a function of the Rotary Club and announced that they were planning to open an institute at Kandbari to train the youth in public welfare related policies for Team Anna.