Former official arrested in a case of demolition of public asset


Himachal Pradesh State Vigilance (SV) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday arrested a former government official, accused in case lodged by sleuth of demolition of public asset for allegedly conniving with local cricket body while serving in public works department, an official confirmed.

SV and ACB investigating officer revealed that a former Sub-Divisional Officer of HPPWD, M.C. Katoch was arrested from Palampur today.

He said Katoch has been accused of declaring a government college building comprising employee quarters located near the main gate of the HPCA’s picturesque stadium in Dharamshala unsafe. The building was demolished in 2008.

Later, the HPCA encroached on the land vacated after the building demolition. The former principal of college Mr. Narinder Awasthi who did not raised objection during the demolition had also been made party by the agency has also been issued arrest warrant who reportedly was not found at his native place but could be arrested soon.

“Mr. Katoch took the decision to declare the building unsafe without getting its technical survey report. In fact, at the time of demolition it was repaired just a year back (2007),” said an official, who do not wish to be identified.

The building was demolished when the BJP government headed by Prem Kumar Dhumal was in power. The HPCA has been accused of encroaching on 3,000 square meter government land located near the stadium.

“A fresh land demarcation was carried out three days back by the revenue officials and found that the HPCA has encroached on 3,000 square meter government land. Earlier, it was estimated that the encroachment was on 720 square meter land,” said the official.

Sport body has been made accused of encroaching on 3,000 square meter government land. The encroached portion is located near the main gate of the Dharamshala stadium.

On July 26, two Indian Administrative Service officers Deepak Sanan and R. S. Gupta, were charge sheeted by the state government for allegedly allowing the change in the land-use for building the HPCA residential complex.

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