• Collectorate fails to update land records, activists seek police probe

      As reported by Manoj More in indianexpress.com on 17 May 2010:

      Collectorate fails to update land records, activists seek police probe

      Information commissioner says missing records serious issue

      The State Information Commission, which had asked the district collectorate to come up with updated land records by May 10, has found its directives go abegging. The collectorate has failed to update the land records, especially those of rehabilitation, for public scrutiny.

      Peeved at the non-compliance of his order, State Information Commissioner Vijay Kuvlekar has decided to issue a warning to the District Rehabilitation Officer and the district collector. “On Monday, I will issue another order to the district collector. If the collectorate still failed to act, I will decide on an appropriate action.”

      Kuvlekar, who has passed severe strictures against the District Rehabilitation Officer while hearing a land case, said the collectorate would have to take the task “very seriously” as it involves lakhs of acres of land meant for the displaced. “During the hearing of a case, it has emerged that land records have not been updated; also there was no information about rehabilitation process that was carried out. If these details are not available for public scrutiny, it raises serious doubts about the entire process,” Kuvlekar said. “The trend seems to be common across the state. Lands records, especially those of rehabilitation, are not available for public scrutiny.”

      Kuvlekar had also asked the collectorate to launch an investigation into the working of the rehabilitation office. District collector Chandrakant Dalvi, however, maintained that they needed at least two months to come up with updated land records. On the investigation against the District Rehabilitation Office, the collector told this paper last week that he would personally meet the SIC and explain the position.

      However, Kuvlekar said neither the collector nor any official from the collectorate has met him or explained their position. “Even if they meet me, I am firm on my stance.”

      RTI activists have demanded lodging a police complaint against the rehabilitation office. Vijay Kumbhar, one of them, said, “I will suggest that Kuvlekar should not stop merely at issuing directives, but should lodge a police complaint.”

      Another activist Shridhar Chalkha said, “Stringent action will ensure that land records will never go missing. A police complaint will act as an effective deterrent.”
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