Gandhi Ashram revamp project: Residents complain of differential treatment in compensation disbursal

The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 06-08-2022 | 03:35 am

Gandhi Ashram revamp project: Residents complain of differential treatment in compensation disbursal

As the Gujarat government proceeds with the ambitious Gandhi Ashram Memorial and Precinct Development project at an estimated cost of Rs 1,200 crore, around 22 Ashramwasis have written to Ahmedabad collector alleging differential treatment in the monetary compensation disbursed as part of their rehabilitation.The residents, in their representation dated August 4, stated that they got only Rs 60 lakh as compensation for vacating the property. On the other hand, residents who were initially not vacating  were given Rs 90 lakh. In their representation, the Ashramwasis alleged that they were given only Rs 60 lakh, instead of Rs 90 lakh, as they lacked evidence to prove that they too have two to three children and a wide family.Gautam Badhiya (43), one of the signatories, said,“This is a dream project of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi Saheb and we appreciate it. I advised my mother to take the monetary compensation  and vacate the place. We were assured that if the compensation amount is increased, we will be given an additional cheque.”“But then, those who were not ready to vacate the houses were given various offers. They demanded a higher compensation and were being paid the same,” he added. Gautam claims to know a number of people who have been paid Rs 90 lakh.The Gujarat government has offered three options to the Ashramwasis. In an affidavit filed before the Gujarat High Court related to a petition concerning the project, the government stated that rehabilitation of the Ashramwasis is being done with consent in three ways— (i) ownership of 4BHK flat in a prime locality of Ahmedabad, ie, Naranpura; (ii) 3BHK tenement at the ‘Ashram Housing Campus’ in an area adjacent to the Gandhi Ashram Memorial; (iii) a generous one-time monetary compensation of Rs 60 lakh.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxHowever, officials said that there have been cases where Rs 90 lakh may have been handed out. “It is possible that in some cases, where a family—father, mother and married son(s)—are living separately could have been given Rs 90 lakh compensation  … following proper scrutiny,” said an official linked to the project, on the condition of anonymity.

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