Streamlining the functioning of the estate office is one of the key challenges. We have set a one- year deadline for improving the functioning of the estate office. For that we have planned complete computerisation, creating data bank of all the properties. At present, we have no data bank of property on computers. In Chandigarh, majority of the property is in urban area, which is very expensive. Any mistake on part of the estate office or owner can lead to problems. Bringing transparency in functioning of the estate office is another priority. We have also proposed to link all the properties with Aadhaar for which we will carry an awareness drive.
At present, the processes adopted by the estate office are very lengthy, which promotes red tape to some extent. Our aim is to reduce the time of all the processes that will be beneficial for the general public as well as the staff. We have also decided to make use of information technology (IT) tools. It will not only bring transparency, but will help in providing people with better services.
There is a huge backlog and this has to change. There are some cases pertaining to approval of building plans that have been pending from the past many years. However, for delivering time-bound services, we first need to streamline the functioning of the estate office, which requires some time. Nothing can happen overnight. Time-bound delivery of services is on top of our priority.
Its another area of concern for us and we need to work on it. We are going to start a portal for grievance redressal. We have also decided to track the movement of all the complaints submitted by residents at different levels. Nodal officers will be deployed for ensuring that the grievances of the residents are resolved in time.
Staff shortage is actually one of the reasons for the ineffective functioning of the estate office. We desperately need people who are good at work. The department has started filling the vacant posts that have been lying vacant from past many years. We need staff for carrying out various drives to remove encroachments and violations. For effective enforcement, we need more people.
Its our duty to keep a check on violation. For effective enforcement, we have asked for more junior engineers to carry out regular inspections. For building violations, residents are also responsible. They do not follow the sanctioned plan. There is a need to make people aware about violations and advising them to stick to approved plans. Chandigarh is a city known for discipline. When we can follow traffic rules, why can’t we follow building rules?
Keeping that in mind, every week we have started holding review meetings. We have fixed days for reviewing court cases, pending cases and complaints received. All the dealing hands have been directed to deal with files in a time-bound manner, failing which action will be taken against them.
Registration of rent deed is mandated under the Act, whereas linking of property with Aadhaar is willful. Keeping the benefits in mind, I would urge all the residents to get their properties linked with Aadhaar card. By doing so, they will only protect their properties. I had successfully executed it in Jind and it was first district in the country to have all the properties linked with Aadhaar. When this can be done in rural area like Jind, I do not see any reason why the same can not be replicated in urban place like Chandigarh.
Chandigarh is an urban-centric place and most of the issues are related to urban. Working in Chandigarh is going to be totally different from district and the expectations of residents from the officers are very high. So far my experience has been very interesting. Uniqueness of Chandigarh is that officers get to perform duties that are performed by officers in districts as well as states. Besides my duty as deputy commissioner, I have been given responsibility of few departments. In districts, the scope of work of department head is very limited whereas in Chandigarh department head is more involved. They are part of forming schemes and policies along with taking care of day-to-day functioning of the department.
I am posted in Chandigarh as deputy commissioner and I have that charge and whatever additional charge I will get is the decision of the administration and I am ok with that. My focus is to deliver on job at hand rather than worrying about number of departments given to me. My aim is that I should deliver more effectively and efficiently. I do not believe in the number game.
There is no such thing. We all are working here for Chandigarh with an aim to serve the public well. Posting of officer is solely done on division of cadre strength.