SRINAGAR: Shortly after assuming the role of Custodian General of Jammu and Kashmir, Rajinder Singh Tara announced on Friday that the department’s efforts to address encroachments, illegal occupants of Evacuee properties, and violators will be significantly intensified.
Tara, who recently took up the position, conducted an extensive tour of Evacuee property assets, including lands in Peerbagh, Hyderpora, Sanath Nagar, Panthachowk, Zewan, Nishat, Kathi Darwaza Rainawari, and various other locations in the Kashmir Valley.
Accompanying the Custodian General of J&K during the tour were officials from the Custodian Evacuee Property Kashmir, Deputy Custodian (HQ), and the former Engineer of the E.P Department in J&K, along with field staff.
During the visit to Evacuee property flats, Convention Centres/Marriage Halls, and Shopping Complexes in Hyderpora, Srinagar, various tenant delegations met with the Custodian General of J&K to present their demands, which were promptly addressed on-site. Directions were also given to the Custodian Kashmir for the expedited resolution of other legitimate tenant demands.
Additionally, the Custodian General conducted a review meeting with officers and officials of the Evacuee Property Department Kashmir in his office chamber at Shaheed Gunj, Srinagar.
Following discussions on the operations of the Evacuee Property Department Kashmir and its notable achievements, including reconciling figures related to notified Evacuee land in consultation with the Revenue Department in Kashmir Division and reclaiming a substantial portion of Evacuee/hidden land, the Custodian General of J&K expressed his satisfaction with the Custodian Kashmir and other subordinate officers and officials.
However, he conveyed a strong message to all officers and officials that the Evacuee Property Department bears a significant responsibility for safeguarding Evacuee property with integrity and dedication. Whenever reports of encroachment on Evacuee land surface, the department is expected to act swiftly, in collaboration with the Revenue and Police Departments.
The Custodian General of J&K also emphasised to the Deputy Custodians in South and North Kashmir to take prompt action in the event of any encroachment or illegal occupation of Evacuee property within their respective jurisdictions.
Furthermore, he reiterated that the department’s efforts against encroachers, illegal occupants, and violators will be intensified. He urged the general public to refrain from such actions, warning that legal action, including imprisonment for up to three years as per Section 18 of the J&K Evacuees (Administration of Property) Act, Svt. 2006, will be taken against violators.
The Custodian General also encouraged the Deputy Custodians to collaborate with the District Administration to ensure the proper management and protection of Evacuee property. They were asked to identify Evacuee land suitable for commercial purposes, as well as other lands that should be fenced with signboards installed to prevent encroachment. This would allow unused land to be put up for e-auction through the department’s developed e-auction portal.
A group of department employees also met with the Custodian General of J&K, expressing their concern that no Departmental Promotion Committee Meeting had been conducted since 2017. In response, he assured them that he would take up the matter with the Administrative Department to expedite the finalisation of Recruitment Rules for the department. This would enable the legitimate demands of employees for promotions based on seniority, integrity, and performance to be addressed.
During his visit to Evacuee land in Panthachowk, Srinagar, the Custodian General of J&K ordered the resumption of possession of 17 Kanals 16 Marlas of Evacuee land that had been under illegal occupation by certain individuals. The department promptly acted on this, conducting proper demarcation with the revenue agency and installing departmental signboards. To prevent further encroachment or misuse, the Custodian General directed the Executive Engineer of E.P J&K to fence the land immediately and present a proposal for its optimal utilisation.
Finally, the Custodian General of J&K stressed the need for a time-bound scanning of all department records by the relevant agency and the prioritisation of employee skill enhancement. He urged the department to organise skill enhancement sessions and orientation programmes to achieve this goal. (KNO)