Veeri emphasizes protection of custodian land, mapping of assets

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By Fast Kashmir on 30/12/2017.

Reviews functioning of Evacuee Property department in Jammu division

          JAMMU, DEC 30 – Minister for Revenue, Haq & Auqaf and Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rehman Veeri today stressed upon the need for protecting custodian land from illegal occupation and utilizing the same for carrying out developmental activities and creating public utilities for benefit of the people.

          The Minister said this while chairing a meeting to review the functioning of Evacuee Property Department in Jammu division, here today.

          The meeting was attended by Custodian General J&K Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, Special Secretary Revenue Farooq A Shah, Custodian Jammu Mushtaq Hussain Malik, Deputy Custodians and field functionaries of the department.

          The Minister while directing the officers and field functionaries for protecting the EP land and the property said that it is the responsibility of the department to ensure check on illegal occupation of land already in the possession of the department and for that they must conduct regular field visits. He directed them to maintain the asset register having complete details of land and properties of the department for the purpose of close monitoring and to have sense of asset base of the department.

          During the meeting, Custodian General J&K gave detailed presentation about the total land, assets created, revenue generation, achievements, staff strength and other issues of the department.

          It was informed that department has a total of 14, 12,006 kanal land in its control in Jammu division. Giving details of the EP land under illegal occupants, the meeting was informed that 164400 kanal land is illegally occupied and department has retrieved around 1399 kanal of land.

          Taking note of this, the Minister directed the officers to put in a mechanism of strong monitoring of department land and expedite the process of retrieving encroached land. He also asked to fence the land wherever required for the protection purpose.

          While discussing the progress on the projects as desired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the Minister asked the officers to take up the projects on priority and ensure their timely completion.

          The Minister was informed that department is taking up these projects in Phase –I and the work on these projects would be commenced soon. These projects include construction of Community Hall at Budwani in Samba, construction of 18 residential flats at Dhamwal in Jammu and construction of office cum shopping complex at Sunderbani in Rajouri.

          Veeri also asked to take up the priority projects already approved in Kashmir at Hyderpora, Zewan and Harwan.

          The meeting was also informed that there is a pool of fixed deposits to the tune of Rs 80 crore in Jammu division and this has been generated from creation of new assets and realization of premium from allotees in light of New Policy introduced by the department in the year 2010.

          The Minister asked the officers to take extra efforts in boosting the income of the department and making it more vibrant. He asked for envisaging plans for optimal utilization of EP land as per classification so that public is benefitted.

          While discussing arrears of outstanding dues against various government and other organizations, the Minister informed that a committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary Agriculture Production, Principal Secretary Finance, Commissioner Secretary Estates department, Commissioner Secretary Revenue and Custodian General as its members to resolve the issue.

          With regard to digitization of department land records, the meeting was informed that process is underway and works in Kashmir has almost completed and in Jammu it will be completed by February 2018. Besides, this the Minister also asked the concerned officers to undertake mapping of EP assets by using scientific methods with a view to ensure protection, safeguard the property and to prevent any sort of avertable encroachments.

          The Minister was also apprised about the issues of the department including shortage of staff, recruitment rules, extension of revenue consultant, counsel for EP department in Kashmir and others.

          While responding to the issues, the Minister asked the concerned to immediately initiate the process of filing up the vacant posts on fast track basis so that staff strength is maintained. Regarding recruitment rules, he asked to expedite the process so that same is finalized soon.

          Veeri asked the officers to ensure that court cases pending before courts and tribunal are followed regularly.