- 600 site allotment papers torn from 300 files
- Officers now scramble to verify beneficiaries
Mysuru: Today is Fourth Saturday, a Government holiday. But over 40 staff from Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) are at work inside their sections from early in the morning. Reason: To search for missing site allotment papers that have been torn away from the original files.
Over 300 pages that contain 600 site allotment documents (each page has two site papers) in various layouts formed by MUDA are missing. The scam came to light during the process of digitisation of all land records. A majority of files that have been tampered with are from Vijayanagar First, Second, Third and Fourth Stage and Devanur First and Second Stage.
Based on the directive of MUDA Commissioner Dr. D.B. Natesh, over 40 staff including MUDA Secretary Venkataraju, all MUDA Zonal Tahsildars, Engineers, Site Section Officers and Site Allotment Section Officers are working without a break to search for original documents, verify the names of allottees and at the same time digitise records. However, it is not sure when the papers were torn from the original files. The files are usually kept in safe custody and only a handful of officials would have access. MUDA is digitising all land records to prevent misuse and this tampering came to light during the digitisation process.
The files have been damaged with an intention of allotting the sites to people other than the beneficiaries. In many cases, the MUDA site allottees do not pay up the minimum site price and in this case, the site will be allotted to someone else. Also, there might be cases of impersonation. With the original documents missing, there is no way of verifying the documents that have been handed over to the beneficiaries. Also, site papers can be recreated and can be sold to other parties for a higher price. “This scam will not come to light as certain MUDA officials are hand in glove with brokers and real estate agents. This is the reason why the original files are tampered with. If the root document is missing, it is difficult to trace who the original beneficiary is and who has actually got the site,” sources said.
While the 600 missing papers from 300 files are predominantly from areas of Vijayanagar First, Second, Third and Fourth Stage and Devanur First and Second Stage, there are other areas too and the actual number of documents missing and their areas will be known only after the full audit is done. Each file has to be checked with other available records to identify and ascertain the real beneficiaries. And moreover, the officials who have torn away the pages have to be brought to book and disciplinary action must be taken against them, sources added.
By S.T. Ravikumar