State Government has declared all Tahasildars and Additional Tahashildars as Estate Officers for the purpose of eviction of unauthorized occupations from public premises.
In this regard Revenue and Disaster Management Department has issued specific notification to empower the Tahashildars to safeguard the public property appropriately.
Bishnupada Sethi, Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management has directed all the District Collectors to take necessary action keeping in view the notification issued in this regard.
Because of wrong interpretation of legal provisions, Field Revenue Officials like Tahashildars were not taking steps to evict encroachers and other illegal occupants from Government land in urban areas.
Earlier on wrong interpretation of legal provisions an instruction was issued in which it was categorically stated that the Estate Officers are only authorized to evict encroachers from public premises under OPP (EOU) Act and Tahashildars have no jurisdiction in urban areas in this regard.
Accordingly the Tahasildars were not taking up eviction of encroachments in urban areas under OPLE Act with the plea of having no jurisdiction.
Mr.Sethi, Principal Secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management Department was of the view that since the Tahashildars have original jurisdiction they can take up eviction work to save public properties.
This matter was referred to Law Department for appropriate opinion. After receipt of green signal from legal experts the matter was analyzed at government level and thereafter appropriate clarifications has been issued.
As per the new guidelines as the Tahashildars and Additional Tahashilars are competent todeal with the government land as per the provisions of law. In order to remove ambiguity, the Revenue Department has declared Tahashildars as Estate Officers under the provisions of the Act.
It is pertinent to mention here that because of complexity and contradiction of legal provisions, in urban areas of the state including state capital, encroachment of government land is rampant. Administration is facing tough time to evict the encroachers at belated stage.
Taking advantage of poor coordination between urban bodies, police, magistrates and other officials, thousands acres of the Govt. land are under the possession of illegal encroachers.
After Tahashildars are declared as Estate Officers under the Act and appropriate clarification has been issued reminding their jurisdiction and power, now it will be easier to protect public properties in the Urban Zones, feels senior officers of General Administration, Urban Development and Revenue Departments.