Shimla: The Prem Kumar Dhumal government was attacked by the Congress members in the state Assembly on Wednesday for issuing certificates to private builders for construction of apartments.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, however, ordered an enquiry into all the cases (including those of Congress regime) related to Apartment Act and announced to form a committee which would decide on scrapping of the Act or to make amendments in it. 

As soon as the Question Hour began on Wednesday, Congress leader Mukesh Agnihotri charged the government with issuing Essentiality Certificate (EC) to half a dozen builders for construction of apartments flouting the Code of Conduct for Panchayat elections.

The concerned Minister, Mahendra Singh, admitted that his department had approved the necessary certificates of six builders who were bearing addresses of Mohali, Delhi, Karnal, Nurpur, Solan and Akarpur (Delhi). He even admitted that the EC was issued by the junior officials of the department.

However, the minister’s contention that junior officials gave the nod and the concerned file did not reach him failed to satisfy the Congress members who alleged that minister was trying to give a new ‘twist’ to the matter.

How could the Government issue the certificates to builders against the noting of the department secretary when the code for Panchayat elections is in promulgation? said the Congress member in the house.

He even questioned the construction of apartments on the land from which 1224 trees were cut down. Congress legislators asked that how could within ten days of Cabinet meeting the EC was issued.

The Congress members demanded the cancellation of all the certificates. After the Question Hour, the CM ordered a judicial probe into the matter. He directed that after the introduction of the Act till March 2011, the validity of the ECs in all the cases would be checked and if any irregularity is found, the judicial probe would look into the matter.

(JPN/Bureau)