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Updated: February 27, 2013 02:12 IST

“Pay ‘impact fee’ and get away with illegal construction”

Darshan Desai
Comment (7)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Anandiben Patel. File Photo
Anandiben Patel. File Photo

Mahatma Gandhi’s Gujarat is a dry State, but Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel, known to be close to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, seems to know the rates of country liquor that flows easy in the State.

At a function in Ahmedabad’s labour-dominated Bapunagar area on Monday evening, where she inaugurated an MLA office, she asked the audience: “You must be drinking potli [country liquor packaged in small polythene bags] everyday… does it cost Rs. 20 per packet? How many packets do you consume everyday?”

A few from the crowd, comprising mostly labourers, shouted: “Five potli.”

The senior Cabinet Minister responded: “So you waste Rs. 100 a day, that means Rs. 3,000 a month and Rs. 36,000 a year. But still you must be getting sleepless nights for fear that the [Ahmedabad Municipal] Corporation officials will demolish your illegal construction.”

The Hindu is in possession of the video of the Minister’s function.

Ms. Patel exhorted the audience to pay Rs. 2,000 impact fees and get their illegal constructions regularised.

The government has imposed various rates of “impact fees” on those who wish to get their illegal construction legalised.

Ms. Patel went a step further. “No Minister will advise you this, but I am doing so. Even if you have 10 metres of illegal construction, show just two metres on paper, after all it is self-assessment. In any case, we don’t have enough staff to come and check if what you have furnished is correct or false.”

She then told the crowd that it was in their interest to pay up the impact fees, whatever amount it might be.

The Gujarat Government had introduced a Bill proposing capital punishment or life imprisonment for manufacturing and peddling illicit liquor in the aftermath of a hooch tragedy in Ahmedabad city in 2009 that left over 140 people dead.

But it is public knowledge that country liquor flows easily throughout the State and is consumed mostly by labourers, who cannot afford illicit Indian-made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) that is also known to be available there.

This is the height of hypocricy of Indians!! If Gujarat has to ban liquor based on the fact that its "Gandhi's state", shouldn't the whole India ban liquor because its "Gandhi's nation"? Its high time we better take responsility for our actions (be it politics, religious, social etc) and i kindly request the author and readers to stop dragging that "great" man's name in each and every issue that relates to Gujarat.
And to clarify everyone here, Gandhi was NOT BORN in Gujarat but in BOMBAY PRESIDENCY.

from:  John
Posted on: Feb 27, 2013 at 20:15 IST

It seems The Hindu is targeting the Modi govt personally otherwise why
should it single out Gujarat only when the same is available in almost
all the states. why doesn't the Hindu has the courage to accept the
truth that Gujarat is the most prosperous and developed state than any
other state in India.It should stop favouring the Tamilnadu govt and
plug out the loop holes. Iam sorry that The Hindus standards have

from:  kalyan
Posted on: Feb 27, 2013 at 18:14 IST

I can't believe the minister nor the comments that support the
minister.Hasn't Gujrat banned sale of foreign liquor in the state
(correct me on that please). But if it is true and country liquor is
readily available then I fail to understand the reason for banning one
form of liquor and allowing another form of liquor. Must be to keep
everyone vibrant...

from:  bzach
Posted on: Feb 27, 2013 at 16:07 IST

Make arrangements for loopholes - make law - make people abide law - thorugh loopholes let everyone enjoy. Why not Gujarat govt strict laws so that a pure Gandhian state can be made.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Feb 27, 2013 at 16:04 IST

Whatever, her statements are true.

from:  dalchand agrawal
Posted on: Feb 27, 2013 at 14:12 IST

my question to the media is in all Gujarat star hotels, the palace
hotels etc. is there no drinks, if there is drinks then it is illegal

from:  Gundappa srinivas
Posted on: Feb 27, 2013 at 13:42 IST

Govt. is for people by the people. Its good if she really care for labour class and want to uplift their living conditions.
But people who break laws and find loop holes in laws should be discouraged.

from:  Vineet
Posted on: Feb 27, 2013 at 07:31 IST
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