Monday, 30th October 2017

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Signage to keep off govt land across Jharkhand

Decision in the wake of growing reports of phoney realtors 'selling' government land to unsuspecting buyers

By Vijay Deo Jha in Ranchi
  • Published 28.02.20, 12:25 AM
  • Updated 28.02.20, 12:25 AM
  • 2 mins read
A government plot at Nagri, Ranchi, will be among those to get the display board. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

Remember the 2006 rib-tickler Khosla ka Ghosla where a middle-class family orchestrates an elaborate scam to “sell” government land to a corrupt builder to get back at him?

To stop such scams, the state revenue, registration and land reform department has decided to put up display boards on all government lands across the state so that people don’t get conned into buying the plots.

The secretary of the department, Kamal Kishore Soan, has shot off letters to the deputy commissioners of all 24 districts to put up display boards on all government lands across the state.

The department took the decision in the wake of growing reports of phoney realtors “selling” government land to unsuspecting buyers for large sums of money.

“It is a preventive measure,” said a senior bureaucrat. “Too often, there are reports that realtors or the land mafia show potential buyers prime plots and take a lump sum for booking the land. Later, it turns out that the plot in question was government land. The potential buyer has to then file a police complaint and engage in prolonged and costly litigation against the fraudulent realtor to recover his money.”

He said that if all government plots had clearly visible signage, buyers would not be duped.

He added that the department’s decision, if followed by all districts, would prevent people, particularly in remote districts, from getting duped.

As ordered by the department, the display board will contain information about the nature of the land, its total area, its boundaries and the revenue circle it fall into. This apart, the board will display clearly that this is government land which cannot be sold or purchased in any manner.

The onus has been placed upon respective revenue inspector, circle officer and circle officer to ensure such boards are properly displayed.

The department has also categorically said that in case this order is not complied with, if any government land is sold, government officials concerned will be held responsible.

“As part of the process, all district administrations have been asked to prepare inventories of the government lands. It has often been seen that the land mafia and dishonest land brokers cheat people in various ways. They sell off government land by forging documents in connivance with revenue department employees,” another official who has been associated with the department for decades, said.

In the recent years at least two major cases were reported where realtors sold off government land to gullible buyers.

In 2011, a major land scam was exposed in Deoghar district where the land mafia sold off 771.59 acres of non-saleable nature. The CBI took up the case for investigation.

Last year, former DGP D.K. Pandey was caught in a similar controversy when it was discovered that the house he constructed at Kanke actually stands on government land. In the sale deed, one Amod Kumar was shown as land owner. Probe revealed that documents were tampered with to change the nature of land and legalise the purchase.