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Probe sought into land deals

Staff Reporter

Kozhikode: The City Corporation Council has demanded that the State Government order an investigation by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau into land deals on Sweetmeat Street in the city.

A resolution to this effect was unanimously adopted at a meeting of the council here on Monday. Councillors, cutting across party lines, demanded an inquiry into the role of bureaucrats in awarding property at throwaway prices to private land developers.

P.T. Rajan, a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member, quoting a recent report of the Town Planner, said that private parties had acquired land on the street in collusion with bureaucrats and politicians.

`Illegal transaction'

He said five cents of land, which had been earlier in possession of the Fire and Rescue Services, had been handed over to the Kozhikode Corporation years ago.

This had been done for laying a road linking the street with Oyitti Road in 1994. However, the land had been resold to private parties. But records showed that the land was in possession of the local body, he said.

Mr. Rajan asked if a piece of land acquired by a property developer and now being used as a pay-and-use parking lot, was still in possession of the Corporation.

V.V. Sivadasan, CPI(M) councillor, demanded a Vigilance inquiry based on the findings of the report of the Town Planner.

Taking part in the deliberations, the Congress (S) member and former Mayor, U.T. Rajan, demanded that the Government initiate an inquiry into irregularities in handing over public property to the land mafia. It was Mr. Rajan who, during the previous council meeting, demanded whether the Corporation had reclaimed an artificial pond on Sweet Meat Street.

The council had asked the Town Planner to submit a report on it.

Mr. Rajan had said that the casualty in the fire on Moideen Palli Road, near the street, would have been reduced had fire tenders been able to draw water from the pond to extinguish the fire.

Mayor M. Bhaskaran chaired the session.

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