The misuse of land allotted for media houses is rampant. In Chhattisgarh, several newspapers—including Dainik Bhaskar—have now been slapped with notices for violating the deed under which they were given government land at a concession. An audit found these premises being used for commercial purposes.
The Indian Express reports on six of them:
Audit report: Land given in 1985. A new building, where the paper is likely to shift soon, is under construction. “Construction is on above ground+3 floors, which is illegal. According to the display board of Bhaskar Group at the spot, DB City, Corporate Park, is being constructed, and contact numbers are also mentioned for taking shop/office on lease/rent… the government should cancel the deed and take possession of the land. But the authorised officer did not conduct a ground survey and the Bhaskar Group is being given undue benefit.” The report said the newspaper had taken unauthorised possession of an adjoining 9,212 sq ft belonging to the jail department.
In September 2009, the Raipur administration sent a notice to the newspaper to deposit Rs 7.62 crore by March 2011. Reminder sent in April 2011; amount not deposited.
Present status: When The Indian Express called the number 8962112000 displayed on the “DB City, Corporate Park” billboard, a person who identified himself as Rajneesh Tiwari, marketing executive of Bhaskar Group, said only a few floors in the building would be for press purposes and the remaining would be corporate offices. “Agreements have been signed with several MNCs and they are soon opening their corporate offices. We are also planning a rooftop restaurant.”
Newspaper’s response: “No violation of the land deed.”
Read the full report: Chhattisgarh newspapers get notices
Also read: Power plans of DB Corp, Dainik Bhaskar & DNA
‘Media houses are sitting on land leased at one rupee’
Bangalore journos named in site allotment scam