As durbar is moving towards Jammu for the six month winter sojourn, the government is again facing the accommodation problems. As the capacities have not been built for a long time and the requirements have surged, the government will again hire lot of hotels to accommodate its staff.
The government told the state assembly last week that it has 411 housing units (flats) under illegal and unauthorized occupation. Offering details, it said 98 flats are under occupation of migrants illegally, 111 are retired officials who are not leaving the occupied premises, 109 are locked and in 93 cases the flats have been sublet by the people who once were legal occupants.
The Estates department owns only 3199 residential units in Jammu. Given the requirements, it hires TRC, private hotels and other private houses, every year. It is now making efforts to set up additional flats over 100 kanals of land that Jammu Development Authority is in the process of transferring to the department.
In Srinagar, the same mess exists. Despite the fact that it owns 4502 residential units in Srinagar, the department has been hiring a lot of accommodation. In the current summer, it had hired 139 hotels, 177 private houses, 45 JKTDC huts various JKTDC hotels. In Srinagar, it has emerged a huge business under the garb of security.
Under a 2004 order, the Estates Department is offering 84% of its available accommodation to move employees, 7% to employees who have their residences outside the division they are posted in, one percent to central government employees, three percent to judiciary as the balance five percent is discretionary quota that it being used to freedom fighters, former lawmakers and media persons.
Estates Department requires a lot of money to manage the show. In 2011-12, for instance, it spent Rs 9.46 crore on salary and other committed expenditures and additional Rs 22.59 crore for repairs of the assets it has. In 2012-13, it recorded Rs 13.90 crore on non-plan and Rs 23.31 crore for implementing its plan.