Expert Panel to suggest measures for putting evacuee properties to productive use


JAMMU: The Government today decided to constitute a committee of experts which would suggest measures for putting idle evacuee properties to commercial use to increase the revenue of the Custodian Department.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting convened here today to review the functioning of the Custodian Department. The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Syed Basharat Bukhari.

The Minister said the committee would constitute experts from horticulture, business management and marketing fields and would be headed by Director EDI. The committee would recommend measures for productive utilization of idle evacuee properties especially horticulture land.

Commissioner Secretary, Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Mr. Mohammad Afzal, Custodian General Evacuee Property, Mr. Mohammad Javid Khan, Custodians Evacuee Property, Kashmir and Jammu, Deputy Custodians of various districts besides field officers of the department attended the meeting.

The meeting also discussed the possibility for creation of Evacuee Property task force to look after and retrieve the encroached assets of Custodian Department in the State.

The Minister instructed the concerned authorities to formulate a project report in this regard for submission and approval of the Chief Minister.

Taking serious note of illegal occupation of custodian land and writ petitions there off, the Minister directed the Custodian General to launch a vigorous drive for retrieving evacuee properties and ensuring prompt follow-up of the court cases. He underscored the need for strict implementation of the provisions of Custodian Act and warned the field functionaries that nobody should be allowed to violate the Act by encroachment and fake mutation of custodian land and other properties.

The Minister directed the Custodian General to install a website and keep all records of the evacuee property on the website for information of general people.

The illegal occupation of 20 kanals of custodian land at Safa Valley in Bhatandi besides encroachment and fake mutation of 5 kanals of custodian land at Ritiz Manor also came under discussion in the meeting.

The Minister directed the concerned to take immediate steps for eviction and retrieving of encroached land in both of these places. He also instructed Deputy Commissioner Jammu to look into the fake mutation of evacuee property at these places. 

The Minister ordered for online booking of Banquet halls at Khanyar and Sanat Nagar in Srinagar besides he also instructed installation of CCTV cameras there.

Stressing the need for paradigm shift from being custodian of land to development of productive assets which will fetch revenue to the department, the Minister directed the concerned officers to explore the possibility of creating state of art public utilities on custodian land in the State. He also stressed on envisaging projects to promote eco-tourism as such facilities would prove beneficial to generate huge income for the Department.        

The Minister also emphasized for regular assessment of the evacuee property to ensure proper revenue realization as per the market rates. He also emphasized to ensure complete transparency in the functioning of the Department.


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