JAMMU: The significant order of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Institution (RD&PR) which was aimed to end rampant corruption and harassment faced by innocent villagers at the hands of officials of Development Authorities in Rural areas sadly stands withdrawn by the government after assent from Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on 30th March, 2022.
The order No 75-RD&PR of 2022 dated 1/4/2022 issued by Commissioner Secretary, RD&PR, Mandeep Kour reads “Government Order No-11-RD&PR of 2022 Dated 22/1/2022, issued under endorsement No RDD-Pnch/269/2021-10 dated 22/1/2022 , shall not be applicable to the areas falling under the jurisdiction of any Tourism Development Authority/any other Authority empowered under any other Act or law to accord building permissions.
This is a major setback to the people friendly decision initiated by the Commissioner-Secretary, Mandeep Kour to end harassment faced by people in those rural areas which falls under jurisdiction of Development Authorities, said Anil Sharma, President, All J&K Panchayat Conference.
Everyone is fully aware of the corrupt practices started by field staff of JDA, PDA etc, on the name of construction activities undertaken by villagers in rural areas. If, Panchayat area falls within jurisdiction of any Development Authorities, then as per PRI Act, the power to grant permission for construction activities vested with the Panchayat members.
Urging the government to revert its decision as dual interference in the functioning of PRI may prove detrimental in the development of villages; Anil further said “The power to grant permission for construction in villages must remain with Gram Sabha as this will weed out chances of any foul play pertaining to secure building permissions on shady land titles.”
Explaining the modus operandi of corruption, he further said “First, the JDA encourages villagers to start constructions by remaining non committal on issuing building permissions. Then, they demand money from villagers when the construction is halfway by terrorising them with BOCA notices. This is a nexus created by corrupt officials in JDA and other development Authorities, he alleged.
Pertinently, the order No 11 dated 1st Jan, 2022 which authorized BDO’s to grant permissions for construction of commercial as well as residential buildings in Panchayats was widely appreciated by the villagers as well as PRI representatives as they were fed up with corrupt practices started by officials of Development Authorities especially JDA.
It’s worth to mentioned here that irked over the Order No 11 dated Ist January, 2022 issued by Commissioner-Secretary, RDD&PRI, Mandeep Kour, the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) besides other Development Authorities started crying foul over grant of authorization to Panchayats and BDO’s for approving residential and commercial constructions in areas which are falling in their jurisdiction.
JK Global News take : There is no denying the fact that JDA and several Development Authorities are openly encouraging large scale illegal commercial/residential constructions at an alarming level in several rural areas which are emerging as commercial hub and deliberately causing huge loss to Govt coffers by losing building construction fees. Yet, they opposed a people friendly approach of RDD which not only leading to eradication of corruption flourishing with impunity on the name of construction activities in rural areas but also perceived as a revolutionary initiative to grant prompt building permission in rural areas against construction fees in a transparent manner. The Govt needs to reconsider its decision as owing to corruption nexus the JDA miserably failed to curb illegal constructions in rural areas.