NEW DELHI: Shankuntla Gamlin, a senior IAS officer in the Delhi government, whose appointment as the acting chief secretary had triggered a turf war between the Lt Governor and Arvind Kejriwal led AAP Government in the capital, has complained to LG Najeeb Jung accusing Industries Minister Satyendra Jain of putting pressure on her over conversion of industrial plots from leasehold to freehold.
In her letter to Jung, Gamlin alleged that despite the fact that land does not come under Delhi government, the Industry Minister put pressure on her to submit a note for the council of ministers proposing conversion of the industrial land from leasehold to freehold.
“The Industries Minister had been continuously pressing me to submit a note for the Council of Ministers proposing therein conversion of industrial plots in the city from leasehold to freehold even after full facts pertaining to the legal ramifications of the case that the matter was not within the competence of GNCT Delhi had been brought to his notice,” Gamlin, who is Principal Secretary (Power & Industry), said in her letter.
The AAP government recently accused Gamlin of favouring Discoms through a `11,000-crore loan. “Due to oversight or otherwise, some conversion of industrial plots had been ordered in Delhi without the involvement of land owning agency Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the matter is said to be under scrutiny of the Vigilance Department of Delhi Government.
“Despite these facts having been brought to the knowledge of the Minister, he kept pressing for a note for the Council of Ministers on the subject and expressed his annoyance on several occasions in this regard,” she said. The senior IAS officer also said that as per rules, the city government is in no way involved in the administration of land except through the Lieutenant Governor who acts in these matters on the advice of DDA, in his capacity as its chairman.
“Union Home Ministry in 1961 had enunciated a policy for acquisition, development and lease administration of lands in Delhi for various purposes,” Gamlin wrote in her letter.
The land so acquired called ‘Nazul land’ is required to be held in the name of the President of India with the Lieutenant Governor being vested with powers to administer the same.
“The Home Ministry had not identified Delhi Government (actually its predecessor at that point of time) as one of the developers of this land. The DDA framed rules for development and disposal of ‘Nazul’ lands in 1981 which are in operation.”