Govt to impose heavy penalty on unauthorised occupants

Table showing penal rents
Table showing penal rents

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: With a view to ensure speedy eviction of illegal occupants of its accommodation, the Government has decided to impose heavy penal rents on such unauthorized occupants with immediate effect. The Estates Department today issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in this regard.
As per the SOP, if the official accommodation is not vacated by the occupant within one week of the issuance of final eviction notice, penal rent five times of the prescribed rent shall be charged for the first month of the overstay. “If the accommodation is not vacated after the expiry of first month, the penal rent 10 times of the prescribed rent shall be charged for the next two months. If the accommodation is not vacated even after three months, the enhanced penal rent 20 times or as per market rates in vogue to be worked out by Public Works (R&B) Department, whichever is higher, shall be charged,” an official handout said.
It is relevant to mention here that a number of illegal occupants of Estates accommodation have neither vacated the official accommodation occupied by them nor responded to the communications/notices issued by the Estates department from time to time.
The illegal occupation of Government accommodation also infringes upon the rights of the other genuine claimants, who are in need of Government accomodation for smooth discharge of their duties. However, the continued unauthorized occupation of Government accommodation creates avoidable difficulties for the Estates Department in providing accommodation to such bonafide employees, the handout said.
Therefore, in a stern warning, the Estates Department has asked all such unauthorized occupants to either vacate the accommodation immediately or be prepared to pay the penal rents.
The Estates Department has issued express directions to its field staff for implementation of the SOP in letter and spirit. The Department will be periodically reviewing the matter so as to enforce the SOP.