New Delhi: Amid controversy over the acquisition of land in a Gurgaon village for the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, the Haryana government has been dragged to the Supreme Court for acquiring over 2,700 acre of fertile land in Rohtak district for developing a township.

While the state government is defending the acquisition of over 850 acres which also covers land for the Trust at Ullahawas village in Punjab and Haryana High Court, an Apex Court bench has sought its response on the land acquired in villages of Kheri Sadh, Baliyana and Kharawar.

A bench of justices J M Panchal and H L Gokhale on August 1 issued notices to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest, the Urban Development Ministry and the Haryana government on a petition filed by an NGO contending that "one of the most fertile land of India" is being acquired despite availability of barren tracts in the nearby area.

"Though admittedly, there was a barren land which was available in the same tehsil of Rohtak, most suitable for the purpose of acquisition for establishing the township, the government has attempted to acquire huge tracts of lucrative arable lands surrounding the same," the NGO, Bharat Bhoomi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, said.

The taking away of the land for development of township would have impact on agricultural and other related produce in the area, the NGO said giving details of the loss likely to be caused by the acquisition of land in these villages. "The actions of the state government are colourable and mala fide and liable to be set aside on such grounds alone...

The action by arbitrarily acquiring and exempting land is clearly aimed at facilitating the interest of the rich and powerful at the cost of the poor villagers of the area," the petition said.

"The prime agricultural land being acquired by the state government would translate into lesser of 13,500 tones food grains, 850 tones of vegetables, 10,000 tones of fruit and similar of loss milk and dairy related products," the NGO said.

The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation had acquired about 1,800 acre land in Rohtak in 2006-08 for the first and second phase of the project and is now acquiring another 938 acres for the third phase.

When the issue of land for Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust at Ullahawas village had come before the High Court on August 2, the state government had said it has approved constitution of a high-powered committee to consider cases in connection with acquisition of land for development of Sectors 58-63 in Gurgaon, which includes the trust.

(Agencies)