Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) has earned a notorious reputation among Mysuru’s citizens as a hotbed of corruption. One of the common tactics employed by its staff is the allocation of the same site to multiple individuals, subjecting allottees to a frustrating ordeal of bureaucratic runarounds. Eventually, in a state of desperation, allottees are coerced into making illicit payments.
It is evident that this corruption must have thrived through collusion with high-ranking officers within MUDA. On Aug. 5, 2023, the retired Assistant Director of Town Planning, P.S. Nataraj, lodged a complaint. In it, he alleged that MUDA, in several instances, allocated high-value assets (sites) on a 50:50 ratio instead of compensating landowners, resulting in estimated irregularities amounting to over Rs. 1,000 crore (as reported in SOM on Sept. 15, 2023).
Nataraj has named individuals of considerable influence and power in his complaint. Subsequently, K. Latha, the Under-Secretary to the Urban Development Department, directed the Mysuru Deputy Commissioner (DC) to meticulously investigate each allegation in accordance with the established rules and submit a comprehensive report.
If a thorough investigation is conducted, it may reveal that many retired MUDA officials are living in opulent residences and possess substantial real estate holdings. The moot question at hand is whether concrete steps will be taken in a timely manner to bring the corrupt individuals to justice within the bounds of the law.
– H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana, Saraswathipuram, 16.9.2023
Note: A law is required to restrain Government employees from being corrupt (defining corruption in its various covert and overt forms); providing for punishment for dereliction of duty, going away from the office on unauthorised leave, deliberately delaying the decision on the application, complaint and many more administrative wrongs that impact the common man adversely, giving room for litigation for relief.
The sense of job security for an Indian Government servant makes him feel invincible with a sense of power over other ordinary mortals. The law must act faster on Government employees than on ordinary citizens.
Considering the present state of Urban Development Department (UDD) authorities in the State, it is imperative the very nature and objective of UDD authorities should be revamped to restrict their responsibility only to identify, acquire, pay compensation to the land so acquired and then hand over the land to private developers with terms and conditions within a time frame. These private developers too must be monitored by the UDD to deliver to the public the sites or the villas or the apartments as the case may be within the agreed period. A suggestion. NGOs must take this idea forward. —Ed
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