Punjab CM calls for systematic change in obsolete land laws to safeguard proprietary ownership rights

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Chandigarh, October 14:

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Thursday called for an immediate systematic change in the archaic land laws to safeguard the proprietary ownership rights of people.

He said this initiative would go a long way to streamline the existing procedure of girdawari, mutation, Jamabandi besides division thus saving the people from sheer exploitation through illegal/fraudulent practices to divest them from their proprietary rights.

Chairing a meeting of all Deputy Commissioners here at CMO this morning, Channi directed the Chief Secretary to constitute a committee in consultation with Financial Commissioner (Revenue) comprising Deputy Commissioner, District Revenue Officer, Tehsildar, Kanoongo and Patwari to suggest reforms in the state land laws so as to simplify them. He also asked the Chief Secretary to bring a detailed proposal to abolish the system of girdawari so as to ensure ownership rights only vests in the legitimate/genuine owner as several states have already done away with this system.

Giving a stern warning to the Deputy Commissioners to stamp out the corruption from the public life, Channi categorically said that it has to be eradicated at the cutting edge without showing any complacency. The Chief Minister also asked the DCs to ensure their punctuality in offices from 9am and even work beyond 5pm to effectively deliver the goods to the satisfaction of the general public. Without mincing any words, he said that no one would be allowed to function from their camp offices. He also asked the DCs to ensure prompt redressal of public grievances and keep their meetings with field officers after 5 pm so that they could exclusively concentrate on the administrative functioning and reserve any two days in a week for field visits to supervise the ongoing development activities.

Attributing clean, responsive and transparent administration as the hallmark of his government, Channi asked the Deputy Commissioners to organise Suwidha Camps to clear the backlog of social security pensions including old age, disabled, destitute, and widows besides ashirwad shagan. He also directed them to hold these camps on 20th and 21st besides 29th and 30th October at tehsil, block and district level. Likewise, the next schedule for such Suwidha Camps to be organized would be soon notified by the CMO.

To speed up the ongoing development works and welfare schemes, the Chief Minister also asked the DCs to have meetings with the MLAs to redress their various concerns related to their respective constituencies on the priority. He also asked them to depute field staff to get the prescribed forms filled from all the eligible beneficiaries to wave off pending electricity bills having load upto 2 kw by reaching out to them.

Likewise, he also underscored the need to ensure timely clearance of driving licenses, birth and death certificates, disabled certificates. Channi also warned the DCs to keep a check over the functioning of their subordinate staff in the districts so as to curb the practice of putting unwarranted objections on the files so as to harass the general public.

On the time bound implementation of Basera Scheme and allotment of 5 marla plots to the houseless, the Chief Minister asked the DCs to complete the entire exercise for the allotment for granting proprietary rights to the slum dwellers occupying state government’s land in the slums of urban areas and 5 marla plots to the eligible beneficiaries in the villages in next two weeks so that the property cards (sanads) could be given to them on the auspicious occasion of Diwali by lighting earthen lamps (diyas). He also asked them to develop at least four play grounds in each block with the facilities of Gym and other sports equipments to encourage our youth to go for sports in a big way in order to utilize their unbounded energy in a constructive manner.

Coming down heavily on the prevailing system of corruption especially in the registry offices, he specifically asked the DCs not to allow Tehsildar to undertake registration beyond office hours after 5:00 PM, adding he said to ensure the availability of Revenue Officials in their offices from 9am to 5pm in field and only charge the prescribed fee for the registry. The Chief Minister also told the DCs not to unnecessarily delay the registry on frivolous grounds. The DCs would have to ensure that none from general public is forced to bribe for getting their works done like approval of building plans of their houses, driving and arms licenses from the field offices and asked them to put in place a mechanism to check corruption with heavy hand to ensure clean, responsive and transparent governance, which should apparently visible on the ground.

Making a firm resolve to resolve the problems of drug trafficking and mining, the Chief Minister solicited wholehearted support and cooperation to get the culprits nabbed who are involved in such malpractices with the help of local representatives in both urban and rural areas.

Underlining the significance of health and education being the core sectors, the Chief Minister asked the Deputy Commissioners to often make surprise visits to ensure the punctuality of the Doctors/Para medics and teachers. Any employee found absent or delinquent in performing his/her duties should be immediately placed under suspension. He also asked the Chief Secretary to issue detailed instruction to all the HODs not to reinstate such erring employees without taking the concerned Deputy Commissioner in confidence.

In a bid to protect the properties of NRIs, the Chief Minister reiterated his Government’s firm commitment that requisite legal framework should be strengthened so that the NRIs are not dispossessed of their properties in the state by illegal/fraudulent practices in connivance with unscrupulous elements. He also asked the District Administrations to prevail upon the NRIs to adopt some schools/hospitals/educational institutions with a sense of belongingness towards their motherland under the state government scheme, in which matching grant is given.

The Chief Minister also asked the Deputy Commissioners to personally visit the Mandis within their jurisdiction to ensure seamless and prompt procurement and lifting of Paddy besides timely payment to the farmers so that none of any farmer is harassed.

Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Chief Secretary Anirudh Tiwari, Principal Secretary to CM Hussan Lal, Special Principal Secretaries to CM Rahul Tewari and Kamal Kishor Yadav.

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