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Posted at: Apr 15, 2018, 1:08 AM; last updated: Apr 15, 2018, 1:08 AM (IST)

Rents of shops not paid for years to ZP

List of defaulters / tenants include aides of political big guns who owe Rs68 lakh to Zila Parishad

Sanjiv Bakshi

Hoshiarpur, April 14

The Zila Parishad (ZP) has come up with a special drive to recover long-pending balances of the rents of the shops rented out by it in the Zila Parishad market.

The parishad has also started proceedings for recoveries through the DDPO and cases have been filed in this regard. The information procured through RTI by RTI Awareness Forum Punjab’s chairman Rajiv Vashisht showed that out of 28 tenants, 25 were defaulters with a sum amounting to nearly Rs 68 lakh. Interestingly, those who have big sums pending to pay to the Zila Parishad include close aides of political big guns too. These include Sanjeev Talwar, political secretary of BJP national vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna, Bharat Bhushan Verma, office in charge of Union MoS Vijay Sampla, and Jasvir Singh, son of Shamchurasi municipal council president Bhagat Ram. “We have been chasing the issue for seven-eight months and the efforts have come up in the form of this list and the action initiated by Zila Parishad against the defaulters to recover the balances,” said Vashisht.

The list of defaulters includes names of 25 tenants who owe a sum of Rs 67,90, 695 till March 31. The highest balance that a tenant owes is Rs 8, 50, 660 and the minimum that a single tenant owes is Rs 66,353. Sanjeev Talwar, political secretary of BJP national vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna is among them with a pending balance of Rs 4,78,035. Bharat Bhushan Verma, office in charge of Union MoS Vijay Sampla, has two shops, shop number 1 on his wife’s name and other shop number 7 on his own name. The amount pending to pay for both shops is Rs 2,33,292 and Rs 1,89,905, respectively, amounting to Rs 4,23,197 in aggregate. Also, Jasvir Singh, son of the president of municipal council Shanchurasi Bhagat Ram, for Shop No.2 owes Rs 66,353, the smallest amount pending against any tenant.

Sanjeev Talwar, when asked about it over phone, denied having any balance to pay. He said, “We had left the shop in 2009 and handed it over to the Zila Parishad and now after nine years, how can they claim for any balance when they had never intimated us earlier of any such balance? Morever, the agreement of the rent had a clause that if not renewed after every 11 months, it would be cancelled automatically and we had never renewed it for last nine years, so where does the question of any balance arise?”

Talking to The Tribune over phone, Bharat Bhushan accepted that he had a balance to pay, but said, “I owe some balance to be paid to the Zila Parishad but the amount if not that hefty. I had paid a part of it a couple of months ago and I think that the amount already paid has not been updated. A small amount is pending and we would be paying it soon.”

Fact file

The list of defaulters includes names of 25 tenants who owe a sum of Rs 67,90, 695 till March 31. The highest balance that a tenant owes is Rs 8, 50, 660 and the minimum that a single tenant owes is Rs 66,353.

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