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HP set to give Ramdev sops afresh BJP govt could slash pending amount for herbal farm lease in Solan, change norms

November 18, 2018 06:09 AM


HP set to give Ramdev sops afresh
BJP govt could slash pending amount for herbal farm lease in Solan, change norms
Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 17

The BJP government in Himachal appears all set to give a fresh lease of life to yoga guru Ramdev’s herbal farm in Solan district’s Kandaghat that was shut by the previous Congress regime following alleged irregularities in land lease.
The matter is likely to be placed before the Cabinet on November 20. The move follows Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust writing to charge the one-time lease amount as it was unwilling to make an annual payment.

The district administration has issued seven notices for recovery of the annual lease of Rs 1.19 crore, but the trust is learnt to be adamant on non-payment. Sources said it was not keen on even paying the entire one-time lease of around Rs 27 crore and was seeking reduction on the ground that the project was non-commercial. An official said the government could “slash the pending amount and change the lease norms to oblige the yoga guru”.

The trust’s proposal to set up the farm on 28 acres ran into rough weather when the Virbhadra government cancelled the lease, approved by predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal. The land, valued at Rs 35 crore according to the Congress, was leased for 99 years after a one-time payment of Rs 17 lakh at a token Re 1 annual fee.

8 yrs to nowhere

Jan 8, 2010: Dhumal Cabinet approves land lease
Feb 2: Patanjali trust registers lease
Feb 19, 2013: Virbhadra govt cancels lease
Feb 21: FIR against trust chairman Balkrishna, MD
Feb 22: Solan admn takes control of land
Feb 17, 2017: Cong decides to reconsider grant of lease

Controversial deal

The irregularities pointed out while cancelling the lease included change in project site to Kehlog even as permission for land purchase from the Ayurveda Department was taken for Chauhada. Trust chairman Balkrishna, Ramdev close aide who had the general power of attorney, further authorised MD Lalit Mohan to sign the deed

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