City residents are suffering due to the lackadaisical approach of the Chandigharh Administration and Municipal Corporation and the irony in functioning. For the past two months,the Estate Department of the civic body has been given to an official who does not have the powers of an Estate Officer.
Meanwhile,two officials who do have the powers are not being able to exercise these as the department is not under their charge. This has resulted in the appeals of the residents not getting heard.
The shuffling of departments in the Municipal Corporation was held more than two months back when PCS officer Rajiv Gupta joined the civic body. He was given charges of Secretary (MC),Chief Fire Officer and Estate Department.
However,the powers of the Estate Officer have not been given to him.
The Estate Branch deals with the disposal of commercial or residential property in areas that fall under the purview of the Municipal Corporation. Apart from other functions,the Estate Officer hears the appeals of residents over property disputes or notices that have been sent to them.
In the wake of no powers,Gupta has not been able to do so. Instead,the hearings are being postponed in wait of the powers being transferred.
This is causing harassment to the residents who have made frequent rounds of the civic body without any action being taken in their cases.
Municipal Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said,The file was sent to the UT Administration for transfer of the powers of the Estate Officer. The issue was raised recently at a meeting as well. It is expected that in the next few days,the powers will be transferred.
Senior officials of the civic body opined that when the Estate Department is transferred,orders for transfer of the powers should automatically be issued. However,since this is not done,it causes harassment to the residents with the litigants not having anyone to turn to.
A similar situation had arisen when HCS officer Kamlesh Kumar,who held charge of Estate Officer,was repatriated. The Estate Department was transferred to Additional Commission Lalit Siwach.
However,the transfer of power took a few months. In this case while officers have the powers,they do not have the departments.
While there are around 50 to 60 appeals that are to be heard by the Estate Officer,these remain pending.
Councillor Pardeep Chhabra said that there should be a system that the person who gets the department should also get the powers. If an officer is transferred,the person who takes over should also be given the powers.
There have been several instances in which inappropriate distribution of charge and powers have hampered the functioning if different departments.