The Congress party Tuesday stoutly opposed the Himachal Pradesh government's decision to allot agricultural land to Delhi-based DLF Universal Ltd to set up ultra-luxurious housing projects in the state.
State Congress chief Kaul Singh Thakur told reporters that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government was promoting the realtors in the state by diverting agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes.
'DLF has recently given advertisements in newspapers inviting applications for the upcoming projects in the vicinity of Shimla and Kasauli,' Thakur said.
'We are totally against the decision of the government to allow the realtor to build high-end cottages. The BJP government in the state is promoting land mafia,' he said.
Sources in the government said that DLF has identified a huge chunk of land around Shimla and Kasauli towns and plans to invest Rs.200 crore in these projects.
Thakur said Shimla town already faces water shortage, besides traffic chaos, and that such projects would only add to the woes of the people.
'By allowing such realtors to set up housing projects, the government is going to multiply the problems of the town. Moreover, the builders are alluring buyers by saying that even outsiders (non-Himachal people) can purchase the villas,' he added.
Under Himachal Pradesh land laws, only the state's permanent residents can buy land in the state. Others who want to purchase land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek relaxations under Section 118 of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act from the state government.
The DLF projects would have high-end residential villas and apartments.
The Shimla residential project is located at Waknaghat on the Chandigarh-Shimla National Highway-22, whereas the Kasauli project is located near the industrial hub of Baddi.