Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Govt agencies acquire land, fail to update records

25 January 2017

PUNE: The ownership rights of nearly 516 cases of private land spread on 3,593.28 hectares acquired for government purposes in Pune division has come under the scanner after the names of government organization did not reflect in the record of rights.

Various government organizations like Public Works Department, irrigation department, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, municipal corporations and councils, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporationhave acquired private land for various purposes but records do not show their ownership.

While the acquisition process may have been completed with the awards declared to the private owner, the final ownership of the government organization, which should have been recorded in the mutation entries or the record of rights is absent, a report procured by TOI from revenue authorities shows.

These cases were reviewed last week and the organizations have been given two months to complete the process of updating the records. Of the 516 pending cases, 304, the maximum are from Pune, followed by 101 from Satara, 21 from Sangli, 14 from Solapur and 65 from Kolhapur according to a report submitted by the revenue authorities in a recent review.

A circular was issued by divisional commissioner S Chockalingam to government bodies to prepare a detailed report after the controversy came up over MIDC's land allegedly involving former revenue minister Eknath Khadse and Mumbai's Economic Offences Wing chief Dhananjay Kamlakar last year.

Chockalingam had told all the government organizations in the division last June to update their names in the record of rights. After June, the division listed 1,103 cases spread over 14,948.07 hectares in Pune division covering Pune, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur.

The report states that in 587 cases, the government bodies have updated their names updated on the record of rights, while 516 cases have yet to be updated. These 587 cases have acquired land from five divisions spread over 11, 354 hectares.

"In all these cases due process of acquisition has been completed but the final stage of updating the records remains. There are several disputes which emerge in such cases later. We have ordered the updating of record of rights for all the five divisions,'' senior revenue officials from Pune division said.

According to revenue officials, these lands acquired by the government body have completed the various stages of land acquisition but the final process of updating the records has not been completed.

"It could be laxity or negligence for the incomplete process. The special drive is to set right these issues as it could be problematic in the future,'' a revenue official said. In some cases, owners who sold the land acquired by the government have been taken to court, the official added. Officials also said the sheer volume of data and shortage of staff to verify the documents that go back to 60-70 years have delayed work. 


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