Bizarre it sounds and incredible it appears, the reality is that an important department of the Government has grabbed the land of another Government department and slept comfortably over it for 48 long years. The department whose land has been grabbed would not have woken to know what it has lost if something strange had not happened.
The Department of Social Welfare has been housed in a huge building in Roop Nagar which actually was meant to be the hostel for working women. Constructed at a cost of 1.75 crore rupees, the hostel has no fewer than 120 rooms and was supposed to provide accommodation to nearly 200 inmates. We learn that the hostel was specifically meant to provide safe accommodation to women from far off areas in Doda, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Poonch, Rajouri, Mendhar etc. as it is difficult for them to find private accommodation if they are posted in Jammu city.
For many years the hostel building remained in possession of the Social Welfare Department but when the Government ordered the Social Welfare Department to vacate the building so that it could be utilized for the right purpose, the Social Welfare Department ran right and left for accommodation. Somebody found that 48 years ago, the Social Welfare Department had purchased about 17 kanals of prime land which has remained in the possession of the School Education Department ever since. Pursuing this information Social Welfare Department came to know from revenue records that 48 years ago it had purchased this prime land for more than 17 thousand rupees and measuring about 17 kanals. Now, the Social Welfare Department has been making hectic efforts at Revenue Department and with the DC Jammu to retrieve the land by dispossessing the control of the Education Department which is running a school on the land. It is reported that about three and half kanal land has been illegally encroached upon by the local residents and the remaining land is properly documented and entered in the girdawari of the land with revenue record.
The Government is paying nearly 3 lakh rupees per month by way of rent for accommodating the Social Welfare Department. The question is that how come the land purchased and properly mutated in the name of the SWD has remained in the possession of another department. After all somebody at the helm of affairs in SWD should have poined out that the department is paying huge monthly rent and it should have its own building. Secondly why did not the School Education Department bring it to the notice of the Government that it is working from the structure raised on property that does not belong to it? How was the structure raised on the land that did not belong to it? Either the School Education Department should be given alternative land or the Social Welfare Department should be provided with alternative land. That is the only solution of this problem.