Rickshaw driver returns Rs 1.90 crore cheque

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AHMEDABAD: An Ahmedabad auto rickshaw driver has returned Rs 1.90 crore cheque issued in his name in lieu of three bigha land acquired for Tata’s Nano plant in Sanand.

Raju Bharwad could have pocketed the sum, but gave an undertaking that he was no longer the land owner. He ensured that the names of the new owners are entered in the official records.

Raju’s family owned 10 bigha land in Sanand. Thirty years ago, his grandfather sold three bigha for around Rs 5 lakh on which 40-odd families built small tenements.

Later, Nano happened and land prices skyrocketed. Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) acquired land around the Nano plant at Rs 28 lakh a bigha and started paying farmers in whose names the land was registered.

Since the new owners had failed to register their names, records still listed Raju and his mother, Baluben, as owners.

“Honesty is one thing my parents taught me. I could not have used money acquired through dishonesty for my family,” says Raju, who lives in a small two-room house with his wife, three kids and mother.

His family urged him to take the right step. In fact, his mother blessed him for his righteousness. “I may earn Rs 6,000 per month but live a life of dignity. I also have four bighas of land in my name which is good enough for the future of my family,” he adds.

GIDC official Naveen Patel said, “We have witnessed many land disputes but a person returning a cheque worth Rs 1.90 crore is a first.”

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