Will PDP-BJP govt act, order probe, penalize guilty?

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Syed Junaid Hashmi

Despite alleged involvement of an ex-minister of the previous NC-Congress coalition government in the alleged illegal attempt of land allotment to an influential steel magnet of Jammu, the PDP-BJP government is yet to order in-depth probe.

Documents available with Newspoint Bureau reveal that an influential businessman of Jammu who had put both men and machinery on job for getting 34 Kanals of land belonging to Jammu and Kashmir State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) allotted to him is yet to be questioned about how his case was processed without the recommendation of General Manager (GM) DIC Jammu.

He has outrightly claimed of having forwarded no such land allotment file to high profile Divisional Level Single Window Clearance Committee (DLSWCC). Despite this admission, state government is yet to order a probe by Crime Branch to find out the truth. This is despite the fact that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti knows well about the case and has asked a senior official to keep a close eye on the happenings in the industries department.

State Vigilance Commission (SVC) alongwith Income Tax Department too know well about this alleged illegal land allotment but they neither ordered a probe nor asked the Industries department to keep the allotment in cold storage till it is not clear that there is nothing wrong in the land allotment. They are sitting silently for the reasons best known to them. No action has been initiated so far.

But sources are pointing somewhere else for this somber silence. Highly placed sources said that the case had been processed after an ex-Minister had pressurized members of Divisional Level Single Window Clearance Committee (DLSWCC) to clear case of 34 kanal land allotment at the earliest. They added that the Minister had allegedly put the then Managing Director (MD) SICOP and the then Incharge Managing Director (MD) SIDCO on job for getting the land allotted to influential business houses.

Sources said that the two officers had been making all possible efforts to get the job done. They further said that when they found the then Director Industries coming in their way, they rang up their masters in the civil secretariat, telling them that the allotment had got held up due to refusal of the then Industries director to allow the wrong to be done. Sources indicated that intense pressure was put on the then Industries Director to clear the file, but he refused citing court cases and other legal impediments in allowing this 34 Kanal land allotment to an influential business house.

Documents reveal that for allotment of this 34 Kanal land of SIDCO, several other small entrepreneurs had applied much before this influential business house joined the fray. On coming to know that SIDCO was set to allot 34 Kanals of land to an influential business house illegally, they approached court with a plea that they had applied for land allotment much before this influential business house joined the fray and hence, they should be allotted land first.

They had further told the court that industries department has to follow policy of ‘First come, first serve’ and they can under no circumstances give up this policy. Court had issued an interim order directing Divisional Level Single Window Clearance Committee (DLSWCC) not to consider any case submitted to SIDCO by the District Industries Centre (DIC) Jammu on a date later than of date of those who have applied earlier. Court had firmly told the DLSWCC not to break the queue.

Such was the influence that the then Managing Director twice gave wrong information to the Director Industries about the land allotment. And on being asked, sources said that the then MD tried to browbeat the then Director who refused to budge and thus, the allotment was put on hold. It needs to be seen what action does the government take and if no action will be taken, one would have no option but to state that none in J&K is serious about fixing the corrupt and inefficient officials.

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