Over 16 yrs insufficient for bureaucrats to translate vital decision into reality

*Despite reminders, Patnitop Development Authority awaits 7000 kanals land
Revenue authorities taking official communiqués casually

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Dec 30: Incredible it may sound but it is a fact that 16 years period is insufficient for the bureaucrats particularly the field functionaries of the Revenue Department to translate the decision of the highest body into reality. Due to this, the Patnitop Development Authority, which has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring holistic development of the major picturesque tourist spot of Jammu region, is facing immense difficulties in planning new projects/schemes.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that the Cabinet of the Ministers of the then State of Jammu and Kashmir vide Decision No.153/10 dated September 23, 2005 accorded sanction for transfer of more than 7000 kanals of State land in favour of the Patnitop Development Authority.
In compliance to the decision of the highest body, the then Principal Secretary to the Government, Tourism and Floriculture Department vide Government Order No.210-TSM dated September 27, 2005 accorded sanction to the transfer of State land situated in different Khasra Numbers to the Patnitop Development Authority.
However, since then no serious attention has been paid by the Revenue Department field functionaries about giving practical shape to this decision by recording mutations of the concerned land in the favour of Patnitop Development Authority in the revenue records, sources informed, adding “this case is the testimony of how the bureaucrats and other officials of the Government particularly in the Revenue Department respond to the decisions taken at the highest level”.
The land which was ordered to be transferred to the Patnitop Development Authority falls in Karlah, Kud, Pichote, Sudhmahadev, Katwalt, Latti, Dudu and Basantgarh areas.
Recently, the Patnitop Development Authority, obtained revenue extracts from the Patwari concerned for village Kud and it has come to the fore that transferred land has not been recorded in the name of Patnitop Development Authority till date even after the lapse of more than 16 years, sources informed, adding “for want of formal transfer and hand over of such a huge chunk of land, the Patnitop Development Authority is facing immense difficulties in formulation of new projects and schemes in order to attract more tourists to this major destination of Jammu region”.
Sources, who are privy to the discussions held at the official meetings on the subject, said that even Tehsildar Chenani Ved Parkash was formally requested to attest mutations of transferred land in favour of Patnitop Development Authority at the earliest so that the land is fenced and protected and further development plans are formulated. However, even after the lapse of several months he is in deep slumber for the reasons best known to him.
“There is no development on the vital issue despite the fact that situation was also brought to the notice of District Development Commissioner”, they said, adding “the Deputy Commissioner might have passed on instructions to the field functionaries particularly Tehsildar Chenani but ensuing timely compliance of the same is also the responsibility of the Deputy Commissioner’s office”, sources said.
When contacted, Chief Executive Officer of the Patnitop Development Authority Sher Singh said “we are working in this direction.”
However, sources said, “more than 16 years is not a small period to translate the decision of Cabinet into reality particularly when the same pertains to creation of more and more facilities at the major tourist destination of Jammu region”, adding “keeping in view the continuous inaction, the Government should seek explanation of field functionaries of the Revenue Department so that in future nobody in the administration dares to sleep over the vital decisions for years together”.
Highlighting the necessity of transferring more than 7000 kanals of land to the Patnitop Development Authority without further loss of time, sources said, “this step is imperative as several agencies are showing willingness in creation of infrastructure on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for attracting tourists”.