Controversy revived over Char Dham

Char Dham sikkim
Gangtok, 28 August : The state BJP president, Mr Padam Chhetri said the state government would soon receive a legal notice over the irregularities in the land transfer for Char Dham in South District, known as one of the principal tourist destinations of Sikkim. “The state government shall get a legal notice on the issue perhaps in a week,” he said. 
Suspecting lapses in the land deal involving South District’s most targeted tourist destination, Mr Chettri had filed an RTI application with the rural management and development department, seeking information about the original landowners of Char Dham known also as Siddeswar Dham and about the registered land sales deed executed between the Dham Trust and the primary land owners. He said he had received a reply from the special public information officer (SPIO) of the RMDD, asking him to approach the district collector for the information. Mr Chhetri said he had then filed an RTI application to the SPIO, land and revenue department on 12 July 2012. “To my surprise, the DC, South, wrote to me stating that the registered sale deed for the Char Dham lands did not exist in the official records,” he said.
During the budget session, the Chief Minister Mr Pawan Chamling in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly while replying to the query of an MLA stated that the concerned land records claimed as missing was being maintained by the RMDD and the DC of the South District, the BJP leader said. “Following the CM’s claim, I had yet again filed an RTI application on 1 May with RMDD. The department assured that the documents would be presented within a reasonable time. But when the RMDD failed to provide the records even after a month, I filed a complaint with another department. But the result was the same,” he added. He said that after wandering hither and thither in vain, he would approach the court. “I shall file a public interest litigation with the High Court of Sikkim,” he said. 
According to the sources, the land that had been acquired by the trust in 2004 had belonged mostly to Lepcha and Tamang community people, enlisted as the Primitive Tribe and Scheduled Tribe respectively. The estimated cost for the acquisition of the land was approximately Rs 7 lakh. But it was later sold to the state government by the Trust at around Rs 1 crore 4 lakh, the sources added. 
The Trust was owned by the Chief Minster’s wife, Tikamaya Chamling, who had quit the Trust after the land was sold, it is learnt.(SNS)

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