The State Government has declared all Tehsildars and Additional Tehsildars as Estate Officers for the purpose of eviction of unauthorized occupations from public premises.
In this regard, the Revenue and Disaster Management Department has issued specific notification to empower the Tehsildars to safeguard the public property appropriately.Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Bishnupada Sethi 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 Tehsildars 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 Tehsildars have no jurisdiction in urban areas in this regard.
Accordingly the Tehsildars were not taking up eviction of encroachments in urban areas with the plea of having no jurisdiction. Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Sethi was of the view that since the Tehsildars have original jurisdiction, they can take up eviction work to save public properties. In order to remove ambiguity, the Revenue Department has declared Tehsildars as Estate Officers under the provisions of the Act.
Notably, taking advantage of poor coordination between urban bodies, police, magistrates and other officials, thousands acres of the Government land are under the possession of illegal encroachers.
However, after Tehsildars 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.