Eviction notices issued to former Ministers, Legislators illegally occupying Govt bungalows

Maximum of illegal occupants in Jammu are from BJP

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Sept 15: The Estates Department has issued final eviction notices to a number of former Ministers and Legislators of different political parties, who are illegally occupying Government bungalows in both the capitals cities of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.
Besides final eviction notices, intimation notices have also been issued to several Ex Ministers and Legislators asking them to vacate the Government accommodation, of which they are no more entitled after dissolution of the Assembly and expiry of the stipulated period.
Interestingly, majority of these illegal occupants in Jammu belong to Bhartiya Janta Party, which claims to be a party with difference. These include former Cabinet ministers, MLAs, MLCs and party presidents.
Despite established norms for allotment of Government accommodations and eviction of the same within a stipulated timeframe, these politicians are illegally occupying the Estates Department lodging in both the Capital Cities of J&K.
Official sources told the Excelsior that notices have been issued to around two dozen Ex Legislators and former Ministers to vacate official accommodations in the Winter Capital while similar notices have been issued to 32 Ex Legislators and former ministers, who are illegally occupying Government bungalows in Summer Capital of the Union Territory.
While maximum of these politicians have been issued final eviction notices to vacate their illegally occupied Government accommodation with one week, sources said that a few others have been issued initiation notices, which shall be followed by the final eviction notices as permissible period for retention of the allotted accommodation to them expires.
The illegal occupying of Estates bungalows by these politicians is causing great loss to the public exchequer as the Government is forced to spend lakhs of rupees on rent for providing private accommodation to others, who could have been adjusted in these unlawfully occupied buildings, sources explained.
Pertinent to mention here that as per the Government order number 169- GAD of 2004, permissible period for retention of the official residential accommodation is one month since the completion of term as Legislator or MP and two month in case of death of the allottee.
However, these former Ministers and Legislators are occupying the Government accommodation even after more than 20 months since dissolution of the Assembly while family of a late politician, who was Chief Minister for a few years in early eighties is among those occupying top class Government bungalows till date.
Besides BJP, some leaders of PDP, NC, Congress and other political parties as well independents and family of this former Chief Minister are among those who have been now issued eviction notices as hearings on two separate Public Interest Litigations over the issue are scheduled to be held in J&K High Court next month.
Informing that the eviction notices were issued in compliance to direction of the Court , which has ordered for vacating Government accommodation from the former Ministers and Ex Legislators, officials sources said that the Estates Department was authorized to forcibly evict the occupants if the accommodation is not vacated within one week since issuance of eviction notice.
Otherwise, sources added, five times penal rent shall be charged from the occupants for the next one month, ten times for the next two months and 20 times afterwards.
In some cases, intimation notices have been served by the Estates Department and in the next few days after stipulated period, final eviction notices shall also be issued to them, sources said and did not rule out forcible eviction after one week since issuance of final notice to the illegal occupants.