Punjab government permitted the construction of Metro Eco Green Resort, Pallanpur belonging to Badals family by violating the state policy regarding Eco Tourism and other norms and even by concealing various facts on files. With permission of state government, this land was diverted from reserved forest land for construction of Metro Eco Green Resort.Exposing these facts, RTI activist and Co-Convener of RTI Wing AAP Punjab Adv. Dinesh Chadha reveals that construction of this resort in illegal manner is against the environment norms and even against the rights of local area people and Kandi area residence. Chadha told that in the case put up by Punjab government to ministry of environment and forest government of India for diversion of this land from forest land it was mentioned that the land is flat agricultural field and no green tree is required to be felled for establishing resort.Chadha said that the government mentioned that the resort will adopt the existing greenery but in contradiction to this claim of applicant and state government, the revenue document with the same proposal itself show that at the time of sending proposals, the concerned land was not flat agricultural land because in FARD JAMABANDI attached with the proposal the type of land is mentioned as BAAG KINNU. In this way, state government for seeking permission to divert this land from forest land for construction of this resort concealed that there is BAAG KINNU in land and mentioned that this is flat agricultural field.
Chadha further revealed that in a notification by Punjab Tourism Department dated 7.December.2010, it is specifically mentioned that the maximum limit of the project in private land would be 2.5 acres. This notification is also part of the file on which state government recommended the case of this resort to ministry of environment and forest but instead of 2.5 acres, this resort has been constructed in about 20 acres.Chadha further revealed that as per Punjab Eco Tourism Policy (2009), the aim for establishing Eco Tourism project is to secure lively hood for local residents with development of permissible and ecologically sound Eco Tourism Infrastructure and to improve their economic conditions. It is specifically mentioned in this policy that the Eco Tourism project will not be allowed purely on commercial consideration but on the other hand the Metro Eco Green city of Badals has been constructed on commercial considerations in collaboration with The Oberai’s instead of improving economic condition of local residents.Chadha further revealed that as per norms, the owner of the project has to provide non forest land equivalent to the project land to the state government for compensatory afforestation. While submitting the proposal for diversion of forest land, the Metro Eco Green resort submitted that they will transfer the land to state government for compensatory afforestation at Siswan Number 2, but again it was said that this land will be transferred at village Paharhpur, near Anandpur Sahib. Even concerned DFO inspected and found suitable these both lands but finally this land was provided at village Kathlor near Pathankot which is very less valuable than land at Siswan or Pallanpur.
As per Punjab Eco Tourism Policy, there is no provision for construction of basement in Eco Tourism Project but this project has constructed basement against Eco Tourism Policy. The final approval to this project was guaranteed on 13.April.2015, but the project owners constructed the infrastructure over project in 2013 which is very much clear in Google Map. As per norms in Eco Tourism Project, the infrastructure should be eco friendly but in contrary to these norms, in this project, concrete material has been used in a very large quantity.Chadha said that it was the duty of state government to promote establishment of small Eco Tourism Project by residents of Kandi forest area and this Siswan forest area for improving their economic conditions but instead of securing interest of these people, the ruling family themselves constructed a very big resort violating the norms and captured the whole income which can be earned by many families on this forest area.