VELLORE: More than three acres of land, reportedly worth crores of rupees, in Auto Nagar in Perumugai panchayat on the outskirts of Vellore has been converted into plots and sold to members of the Motor Vagana Anaithu Panimanai Urimaiyalarkal Sangam by the former office bearers of the
Exposing the scam, a section of the association members sought the intervention of the district administration to help them retrieve their land. They filed a petition with the administration on Monday, urging it to take suitable action against the culprits for swindling their money and cheating them.
The petitioners said the members of the association pooled in money to purchase land of their own a decade ago. “The association passed a resolution in 1992, deciding to collect money from the members to purchase land to develop Auto Nagar. It was decided after the district administration and the local body insisted on workshops on Old Bangalore Bypass Road, to decongest the city,” said P Dhayalan, former secretary of the association.
After collecting between `15,000 and `1 lakh from each of the 530 members of the association, it purchased 31½ acres of land for around `1.25 crore. Of the total land, the association handed over around 12 acres of land for laying roads and 3.1 acres of land for park and public utilities to the Perumugai panchayat, as per the rules.
The remaining land was handed over to its members based on the amount paid by each individual to construct workshops. They gave plots to 430 of the 530 members with DTP approval, said Dhayalan and admitted that they gave the land, which was meant for public purpose, to the remaining members. However, some of the members refuted Dhayalan’s claim and said only 340 plots were given with DTP approval in 2006. They also reduced the 40 feet road to 18-20 feet.
“They did not submit the details and accounts about the land purchase so far and swindled crores of rupees,” charged G Sivasankar, one of the victims. He was given 1,250 square feet in the parkland.
The former office bearers had allegedly created fake documents for 3.1 acres of panchayat land and registered it in the name of 65 people in 2008. The land was meant for creating parks, constructing community halls and water tank. “We came to know about it only a year ago when we approached the panchayat seeking patta. The panchayat president gave a written statement that 3.1 acres of land belonged to the local body,” said Sivasankar.
Another victim S Murali said he paid `1 lakh for 2½ cents of land, but was given only 600 square feet in the parkland. The former office bearers of the association had not only cheated them, but also created fake documents and indulged in corrupt practices, claimed the victims, hoping that officials would help them out.