Punjab and Haryana HC summons two principal secretaries over delay in construction of stadium in Kurukshetra
The HC bench of Justice Arvind Sangwan also asked the state’s chief secretary (SC) Sanjeev Kaushal to look into the “inordinate delay” in the project
The Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) had summoned principal secretaries of the sports department and public works department (PWD) over the delay in the construction of a stadium in Kurukshetra for which a proposal was mooted in 2009.
The HC bench of Justice Arvind Sangwan also asked the state’s chief secretary (SC) Sanjeev Kaushal to look into the “inordinate delay” in the project.
In July 2009, Thol village panchayat passed a resolution for the construction of a stadium and promised to provide 4.5 acre of its land along with a 5% estimated cost at that time. The project was then estimated to cost ₹27.34 lakh. By the time approvals came in 2014, it could not be withdrawn from the office of treasury officer, Kurukshetra, due to a lapse of time. Subsequently, a fresh rough cost order of ₹42.24 lakh was prepared, which was again revised to ₹85 lakh at the time of administrative approval. As nothing came to be constructed on the ground, in March 2022, a plea was filed by Kulbir Singh, a local, stating that despite fulfilling all the obligations by the gram panchayat, needful has not been done at the government level as the matter is stuck in the intra-departmental proceedings. The plea was disposed of by the court with a direction that needful be done within a month.
In November and December 2022, a revised estimate was approved of ₹4. 07 crore for the construction of a multipurpose hall, road, parking area and synthetic track in the village. However, Singh moved a contempt plea in September alleging that authorities failed to comply with the March 2022 order. The respondents are taking everything for granted and except for passing paper orders, they are not taking any action for implementation of the order or construction of the stadium, etc, it was submitted.
The court observed that as per the order passed by the director general, development and panchayat department, Haryana after August 2022, no further action has been taken, despite the letter issued by the Kurukshetra deputy commissioner, stating that the land was available at the spot.
State’s counsel had told the court that on November 11, 2022, an amount of ₹4.07 crore was sanctioned by the governor for the purpose and further amount would be taken from the PWD (B&R) department. However, the dissatisfied court took serious note of the delay and asked the principal secretaries of both departments to remain present on Friday with their affidavits.