CORRUPTION OR POWER ABUSE IN GOVERNMENT OFFICES?
Government offices in the State of Goa are either corrupt or are being abused by the present Government is a question which no citizen in Goa needs an answer. The people of Goa are not stunned with the corrupt style of working of the Government and its employees in the State of Goa. Not all employees are corrupt however because of the few corrupt employees the blame of corruption is unfortunately shed on all government employees; however the same cannot be said of the ministers in the state of Goa as the saying goes “Birds of same feather, flock together”. One such office is the office of the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies , North – Zone , Mapusa where a housing maintenance society with respect to a tenanted portion of a property is illegally in violation of the Goa Co-operative Societies Act registered by its so called promoters/members inspite of having no title to the subject-matter property. The members of the said illegally registered Maintenance Society have either bribed or politically compelled the Assistant Registrar to illegally register the said Housing Maintenance Society. A Co-operative Housing Maintenance Society can be registered by owners of dwelling or commercial units in a building for the purpose of maintenance of the building and its common amenities and not by owners of individual and separate plots. A Co-operative Housing Maintenance Society is illegally registered by the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies at Mapusa comprising of members who have individually purchased plots and after carrying out partition of their respective plots, have constructed separate and independent houses not connected or joint in any manner. The objective of the society as reflected in the byelaws is to maintain and manage the interest of the plot owners towards the open space which infact is not an open space but a portion of land under cultivatory possession of a family and the same is not vested in any manner with the individual plot owners. No NOC or Deed of Conveyance of the land owners’ in favour of the Plot owners is existing to convey title or right to register the society with respect to the cultivable portion wrongly reflected as open space. The plots purchased were illegally developed in the year 1973-74 as there is no TCP approval as per Section 49 of the Goa Town and Country Planning Act and the sale deeds of the plot owners are also restricted only to their plots. North –Goa PDA was formed subsequent to the illegal development of plots purchased by the plot owners and before the formation of PDA all development of properties were to be mandatorily carried out by obtaining approval from the TCP Department with respect to Mapusa City. There is a noting of the subordinate officer of the Assistant Registrar that there is no agreement or sale deed entered between the promoters and the landowners and therefore the society cannot be registered, however by blatantly ignoring this remark the society is registered which poses a question with respect to the functioning of Government offices under the present administration. Some construction plan of a house of one of the plot owners approved by the Mapusa Municipal Council is produced and under the guise of the said house construction plan, it is portrayed as TCP approved plan and a hoax is created and arbitrarily and illegally the society is registered. The Government is speaking of protecting the rights of tenants and inspite of a tenancy case being pending with respect to the cultivable portion claimed as open space, the government’s own officer has illegally registered a Co-operative Housing Maintenance Society showing the cultivable portion as open space in order to indirectly defeat the tenancy rights of the poor tenants. Similar attempt to show the cultivable portion as open space through the PDA is also being made by the plot owners of the said illegally registered society by trying to demarcate the cultivable portion as open space in the land use map for Mapusa planning area against which objections are already filed. Earlier an attempt was made by the Mapusa Municipal Council to forcefully construct a garden in the said cultivable portion, however the tenants by filing a complaint before the then Director of Municipal Administration who is a competent and honest IAS officer got the resolution and work order revoked for want of title to the area claimed as open space.
A through vigilance inquiry is needed to be conducted to punish the guilty officers for indulging in to corrupt practices and for illegal registration of the said Co-operative Housing Maintenance Society. The Government officers are either given the boost and support by their political godfathers or for money have stooped so low under the present regime that they fear no one in abusing and misusing their powers as government officers. It is a shame that the rights of the tenants which were protected by the first Chief Minister of Goa late Dayanand (Bhausaheb) Bandodkar by enacting Mundkar and Tenancy Act, the present government is only interested in destroying. The present administration is only interested in destroying tenanted lands and the tenants of which this illegally registered Co-operative housing maintenance society is a great example .
(This article is written by Mr. Sanjay Barde , General Secretary, NCP – Goa) ( 850 words)