Revenue Deptt fails to act on SVC advisory even after explicit directions from Governor

Non-compliance despite unprecedented complaints against deptt

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 27: Revenue Department, which is infamous for scams and corrupt practices, has failed to act on the advisory issued by the Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission four years back even after explicit directions from the Governor N N Vohra. The non-compliance is notwithstanding the fact that department is facing unprecedented complaints before the Commission and State Vigilance Organization.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that State Vigilance Commission is continuously receiving large number of complaints against the field functionaries of the Revenue Department and bulk of complaints relate to attestation of mutations, issuance of Permanent Resident Certificates (PRCs), category certificates, income certificates, fard-initkhab and demarcation of land etc.
“Most of these are the basic services which are required to be given under the provisions of Public Services Guarantee Act, 2011 but the time limit mentioned in the Act is not being adhered to which is causing lot of inconvenience to the general public besides defeating the very purpose of the Act”, they further said.
Keeping these aspects and complaints in mind, the State Vigilance Commission vide Circular No.03 of 2014 dated June 24, 2014 had issued advisory for the Revenue Department. However, none of the recommendations made by the Commission has been implemented by the Revenue Department although there is no end to unprecedented number of complaints against it, sources informed.
“The non-compliance is notwithstanding the fact that Governor N N Vohra has a number of times laid stress on time bound action on the recommendations/advisory of the State Vigilance Commission”, they said, adding this was reiterated by the Governor when the present Chief Vigilance Commissioner P L Gupta called on him on July 5, 2018.
In the meeting, Governor had directed for time bound action on the recommendations of the Vigilance Commission, which are pending disposal with various Administrative Secretaries.
The SVC had recommended that all mutations should be attested in the field in the presence of concerned parties/stakeholders, Sarpanch/Panch and other respectable and prominent persons of the area concerned to reduce the number of complaints pertaining to alleged fraudulent mutations.
“However, the mutations are still being attested at the headquarters without paying field visits and this is the main reason behind major and minor land scams and disputes in the State”, sources said.
In order to avoid inconvenience to the general public in obtaining Permanent Resident Certificate, the State Vigilance Commission had directed the top echelons of the Revenue Department to specify clearly the documents required for the purpose so that it is not left to the discretion of dealing officials. Moreover, there was recommendation for displaying in the offices of all tehsils the documents required to obtain PRC for the information of general public.
“There is no compliance to this recommendation also and what to talk of displaying the documents in the offices of the field functionaries of the Revenue Department even such information is not available on the website of the department”, sources further said.
The Vigilance Commission had also mentioned in the advisory that administrative inspections at different levels shall be compulsorily conducted. “But the compliance level is not satisfactory and inspections are conducted rarely and not as a matter of routine”, sources said.
“Increasing number of complaints can also be attributed to the fact that administrative inspections are not being conducted regularly by the concerned authorities resulting in cuttings, insertions and changes in the entries in the revenue record”, they said, adding “this is leading to prolonged litigation and causing inconvenience and harassment to the general public and loss to the exchequer”.
In order to reduce the interface of the general public directly with the field functionaries, the Vigilance Commission had recommended single window system along with online submission of the application forms and other documents besides display of updated status of the applications in all the districts, sub-divisions and tehsil headquarters.
“This recommendation has also been ignored by the Revenue Department much to the disappointment of State Vigilance Commission”, sources said, adding “it is a matter of serious concern that even Governor’s explicit directive has failed to awake the functionaries of the Revenue Department from deep slumber”.


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