STATE TIMES REPORT
JAMMU: The massive ‘clean up’ operations launched by the Governor’s administration to evict unauthorised occupants from prime properties maintained by the Estates Department is bearing fruitful results but deep rooted nexus between insiders and illegal occupants is exposed.
In Jammu, the officers of the State Estates Department are still facing an uphill task to evict unauthorised occupants from prime properties.
Out of 3,183 residential units of different categories, the State Estates Department has been able to vacate over 100 government houses and at present eviction proceedings for over three dozen houses are pending.
Inside reports claimed that after the Governor’s rule was imposed in the State, senior officers in the Civil Secretariat initiated a massive clean-up drive to free the government accommodation from the clutches of unauthorised ‘retired government servants and politicians of yesteryears’.
To carry out the drive, a team of officers was put on the job but so far they have failed to convince majority of unauthorised occupants to vacate the Estates accommodation on their own. In response, legal process has been initiated to evict them after serving notices.
In the past also, similar drives have been conducted ahead of the shifting of the Darbar Move offices but these illegal occupants enjoy clout within the establishment and they continue to feed ‘corrupt’ officers, who find via media to allow them to continue instead of vacating these properties.
Majority of these occupants, who have unauthorisedly been occupying these flats/independent houses across several locations in Jammu, are mostly retired government servants who do not want to vacate and are desperately trying to cling on to these accommodations by hook or by crook.
Even more than two dozen politicians and scores of retired government servants, based in Kashmir Valley, are in possession of these properties and have been manipulating their stay in connivance with some of the section officers of State Estates Department.
Inside reports revealed that every year when the State Estates Department starts mammoth exercise of allotting government accommodation to the serving employees, senior bureaucrats, politicians as per their entitlement, public representatives, a fixed number of houses are kept out of the purview of the allotment. Reason: no one in the Estates Department is willing to bell the cat and question them under what rules and under whose permission they have been staying put in the allotted houses.
Now, after the intervention of the State High Court and its clear cut directions, the job of the Estates Department officers, allegedly, involved in renting out these prime properties to these people would become difficult, as they have to submit complete details of existing properties and name of the occupants and total tenure since when they have been occupying the prime properties with specific mention of the period for which they were not authorised to stay put. Either the State government would slap a penalty or leave the matter for the court to decide whether to penalise them or debar them from occupying Estates accommodation in future as well.
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