Revenue Minister orders inquiry
Srinagar, Apr 12: The Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Bashir Ahmad Khan, is the major beneficiary of change of title fraud of 700 kanals of land that has taken place in Kulgam district of South Kashmir.
According to investigations conducted into title fraud of 700 kanals of land in village Gudder in the South Kashmir district of Kulgam, the SMC Commissioner is the major beneficiary. The inquiry report lying with the Raj Bhawan says that Khan is the major beneficiary of the change of title fraud and 92 kanals of grazing land have been shown on his name.
The land settlement in the village was completed in 2013 and six months ago, residents of the village reported the fraud to the district administration. After preliminary inquiry, it was found that 530 kanals of grazing land was shown as proprietary land of some people of the village including Khan. Besides this some of the proprietary land of people was also shown as proprietary land of top 10 beneficiaries.
Soon after the preliminary inquiry, Governor N N Vohra had sought a detailed report after which several Revenue officials were attached to the Divisional Commissioner’s office in Srinagar. However, no action was taken against Khan and he was posted as Commissioner SMC.
Meanwhile, Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Syed Basharat Bukhari today took serious note of the change of title of 700 kanals of land in Kulgam district and directed the Settlement Commissioner to enquire into the matter and submit a factual report within 45 days to the Government.
The direction in this regard was given by the Minister while chairing a high level meeting of the officers of Revenue Department convened to review the status of settlement operations and computerization of land records in the State.
The Minister also directed Financial Commissioner Revenue to submit the report of 6 villages, 3 each in Srinagar and Jammu, where settlement and digitization of revenue records has been already completed on pilot. He also instructed that revenue record in 866 villages should be kept on web site for information of the people.
Financial Commissioner Revenue, Pramod Jain, Commissioner/ Secretary Revenue, Mohammad Afzal, Settlement Commissioner, Regional Director Land Records and Survey, Deputy Commissioner Central besides other concerned senior officers attended the meeting.
The Minister underscored the need for strengthening of Settlement organisation and asked the concerned authorities to come with a proposal keeping in view the futuristic plans of the Department.
The Minister expressed displeasure over the lapse of Rs 16 crore meant for settlement besides maintenance of revenue records under Computerization of Land Records Scheme. He directed the funds to the tune of Rs 45 core sanctioned by the Centre under Digital India Land Modernization Programme (DILRMP) should be utilized strictly for settlement and computerization of land records.
The Minister said in first phase the settlement work of Srinagar and Jammu districts would be completed and asked the RAM Tech India which have been entrusted with the Digitization of land records work to expedite its efforts and ensure completion of the job in fixed time frame. He said that he will personally monitor the progress of settlement fortnightly, adding that the settlement of other districts would be taken in second and third phase in the State.
The Revenue Minister exhorted upon the officers to adhere to the timeline of settlement targets and contribute in the preparation of reliable revenue records making devotion and integrity benchmark of the functioning
Bukhari said the settlement operation is fundamental in the land management system adding that meticulous preparation of Records of Rights not only facilitates resolution of land disputes but also minimizes land wrangles and conflicts.
Financial Commissioner Revenue gave a detailed over view on the settlement and computerization of land records in the State. He apprised that 4717 villages were taken up for settlement operation in the State and of which 2257 villages were measured besides Right of records of 1906 villages deposited and revenue records of 866 villages were computerized in the State.