Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Thursday called for an immediate and systematic change in archaic land laws to safeguard property ownership rights. He said the initiative would go a long way to streamline the existing procedure of girdawari, mutation and jamabandi, besides division, thus protecting people from exploitation through illegal/fraudulent practices.
Chairing a meeting of all deputy commissioners, Channi directed the chief secretary to constitute a committee in consultation with the financial commissioner, comprising the deputy commissioner, district revenue officer, tehsildar, kanungo and patwari to suggest reforms in the state’s land laws. He also asked the chief secretary to bring a detailed proposal to abolish the system of girdawari, to ensure ownership rights only vests in the legitimate/genuine owner.
Directing deputy commissioners to stamp out corruption, Channi also asked them to arrive punctually in offices at 9am and work beyond 5pm to serve the public. He added that no one would be allowed to function from their camp offices. He asked the DCs to ensure prompt redressal of public grievances and schedule meetings with field officers after 5 pm so that they could exclusively concentrate on administrative functioning. He directed them to reserve any two days in a week for field visits to supervise ongoing development activities.
Channi said that a clean, responsive and transparent administration were the hallmarks of his government, and asked the deputy commissioners to organise Suwidha camps to clear the backlog of social security pensions meant for the elderly, disabled, destitute and widows. He directed them to hold these camps on October 20 and 21, besides October 29 and 30 at the tehsil, block and district level. Likewise, the next schedule for such Suwidha camps to be organised would be notified by the CMO.
To speed up development works and welfare schemes, the CM asked the DCs to have meetings with the MLAs to redress their various concerns related to their respective constituencies. He also asked them to depute field staff to get the prescribed forms filled from all the eligible beneficiaries to waive pending electricity bills.
Likewise, he also underscored the need to ensure timely clearance of driving licenses, birth and death certificates and disabled certificates. Channi also warned the DCs to keep a check over the functioning of their subordinate staff in the districts.
On the time bound implementation of Basera Scheme and allotment of 5 marla plots to the houseless, the CM asked DCs to complete the entire exercise of allotment to slum-dwellers occupying government land in urban slums and 5 marla plots to eligible beneficiaries in the villages in next two weeks, so that property cards (sanads) could be given to them on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. He also asked them to develop at least four playgrounds in each block with gym facilities and other sports equipments to encourage youth to take up sports.
Coming down heavily on the prevailing system of corruption, especially in registry offices, he specifically asked DCs not to allow tehsildars to undertake registration beyond office hours after 5pm, and directed them to ensure the availability of revenue officials in offices from 9am to 5pm and only charge the prescribed registry fee. The CM told the DCs not to unnecessarily delay the registry on frivolous grounds. The DCs would also have to ensure that no one is forced to bribe officials for getting work done--like approval of building plans or approval for driving and arms licenses.
Promising to resolve the problems of drug trafficking and mining, Channi solicited wholehearted cooperation to arrest offenders who are involved in such malpractices with the help of local representatives.
Underlining the significance of health and education, he asked the deputy commissioners to make surprise visits to ensure the punctuality of doctors/paramedics and teachers. Any delinquent employee should be immediately placed under suspension. He also asked the chief secretary to issue detailed instruction to all the HODs not to reinstate such employees without taking the concerned deputy commissioner in confidence.
In a bid to protect the properties of NRIs, the CM reiterated his government’s resolve to strengthen requisite legal framework so that NRIs are not dispossessed of their properties by illegal/fraudulent practices. He also asked the district administrations to prevail upon NRIs to adopt schools/hospitals/educational institutions under the state government scheme.
The CM asked the DCs to personally visit the mandis within their jurisdiction to ensure seamless and prompt procurement and lifting of paddy, besides timely payment to farmers.