Visakhapatnam: Staff shortage has been adversely affecting the investigation into land scams in Vizag. The issue has put the spotlight back on the problem of severe shortage of sincere and efficient police and revenue staff.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which has been probing the tampering of land records, has been facing a manpower shortage. With the handful of efficient officers drawn from police, revenue and stamps and registration departments, it has managed to complete around 35 per cent of the inquiry in two months. The SIT, however, is now struggling to find efficient and non-controversial officials to probe over 60 per cent of cases.
Sources from the police and revenue departments said that the SIT is facing severe shortage of sincere officers. After screening 2,865 petitions, the SIT focused on 337 complaints only and so far completed inquiry into around 110 complaints. As per the Government Order, the SIT was supposed to have completed its inquiry by August 20.
Revenue and police sources said the team requires two more months to complete its work as it was found difficult to find the missing link documents. The SIT needs more officials having a good track record but has been struggling to find them. Already many police officials from inspector rank to ACP have been drafted, affecting the regular police work,’’ said a senior police official.
Impressed by the progress of the SIT inquiry, floor leader of BJP in the state and Vizag North MLA P. Vishnu Kumar Raju has demanded that the government extend the probe all over the state because many of the government lands might have gone into the hands of private people in other cities and towns in the state. The SIT has found that around 23 no objection certificates (NOCs) issued by the revenue department were bogus. “A total of 69 NOCs were issued in Vizag in the past 15 years, we have found 23 NOCs were bogus and 19 NOCs were given alone in Desapatrunipalem,” a senior officer of SIT said.