Tuesday, May 30, 2017

‘Loopholes make it easy to register govt. lands’

The Hindu: Hyderabad: Tuesday, May 30, 2017.
The existing loopholes in the system make it easy for government lands to be registered and to even get away with it if caught, according to revenue officials and activists fighting encroachments. Though the ₹500 crore scam in Miyapur area came to light recently, there are many land tracts in Western parts of the city, including Kukatpally, Hafeezpet, Madhapur, Kondapur and Gachibowli which are the properties of the State only on paper but in possession of individuals in realty.
Gazette notification
According to the complainant and activist, Rajkumar Thakur, who repeatedly approached the Lok Ayukta, police and the revenue regarding encroachments in Miyapur area said that the present rules make it easy for sub-registrar to register even government lands.
“I had filed an RTI with a Sub-registrar office regarding a memo issued by a local Mandal Revenue Officer. I got an answer from the Sub-registrar that he does not have to obey what the revenue department says and he can go ahead with the registration of any land. According to the registration department officers, unless there is a gazette which notifies government lands, they cannot be blamed for faulty registrations. We suspect that in many cases the sub-registrars feign ignorance about such gazettes to go ahead with their illegal activities.”
He said ‘registration from anywhere’ initiative was also aiding the illegal registrations as the encroachers have a choice to execute their plans by colluding with any corrupt sub-registrar elsewhere even though the land is located in a different zone. An officer of the stamps and registrations department says that they are not entirely to blame for situation. “The biggest problem we face on a daily basis is because of the lethargic attitude of the revenue department. They do not promptly send us boundaries of the government lands.
All we get are the survey numbers but to what extent is never clear,” said a sub-registrar posted in Rangareddy district. “Sometimes a few private parties approach us saying that a part of the land in a particular a particular survey number belongs to them and the rest to the government. In the absence of details regarding the boundaries, there have been registrations in the past where even some area of the government land was registered on the name of the adjacent private land owner.”