The Hindu had contacted Mr M.S. Chopra, Principal Officer on Special Duty to the Chief Minister, seeking his comments on The Hindu’s article. He chose not to respond either to a detailed e-mail, or to follow-up text messages. Nor did The Hindu’s story claim the data it relied on was not in the public domain.

In multiple cases, representations to the government and legal challenges have been made on the use of its discretionary powers.

The Haryana government’s response on the issues is as opaque as its exercise of its powers. There is no explanation, for example, of why housing projects for low and medium potential areas were undertaken by the government, instead of developing a single sector by itself as per traditional norms. It does not explain why the Haryana government failed to check the illegal use of groundwater until ordered to do so by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Nor does the response address concerns about the conduct of several specific corporate entities raised in the article. It does not offer evidence, for example, that Countrywide Promoters is in physical possession of the land. Construction can only be undertaken upon physical possession of the land. It baldly asserts that BPTP has addressed many customer complaints — but does not state how many, and who. The customers The Hindu spoke to certainly did not believe their complaints had been addressed.

RELATED NEWS

Haryana government’s response to ‘land boom’ storyNovember 2, 2012

Exemption rajNovember 10, 2012

More In: Comment | Opinion