Defaulters owe estates department over Rs 2 crore

From lawmakers, former ministers to bureaucrats all owe rent to the department

Former ministers, lawmakers, party workers, police officers, bureaucrats and journalists are among defaulters of the state government’s estates department, owing it around two crore rupees as rent for official accommodation they use. 

Information following a request under RTI Act by M M Shuja reveals that ministers, MLAs, MLCs and workers of political parties living in government apartments at posh areas of Srinagar city like Hyderpora, Cooperative Colony Peerbagh, Sonwar, Gupkar and Tulsi Bagh owe over Rs 57 lakh rent to the estates department. 

The outstanding rent has been calculated till October 2018.

Similarly, the top brass of police which includes IGs, SSPs and other police officials of different ranks have an outstanding of over eight Lakh rupees towards the estates department as rent.

Next on the list of defaulters are journalists who have been provided apartments mostly at Jawahar Nagar, Pratap Park area of Lal Chowk and Magarmal Bagh have not paid Rs 64 lakh rent due to them.

Officials of government departments like Tourism, Revenue, Agriculture, Power Development Department (PDD), High Court, home department and board of directors of various departments and district administrators also owe the department over Rs one crore.

The Estates Department came into existence in 1968. Prior to this all these government Bungalows, Buildings, Quarters, and Commercial Units were controlled and managed by the housing division of PWD(R&B) circle in both Jammu and Kashmir.

In the 1972 Estates Department was re-organised and two posts of Deputy Director Estates for Jammu and Kashmir provinces were created. 

The department maintains 3167 quarters in Jammu and 1248 quarters in Srinagar.

The department charges a nominal rent of Rs 135 per month from government employees in type-1 category, Rs 265 for legislators who figure in type-1 category and Rs 530 from rest of the employees allotted government accommodation for residential purposes.

A rent of Rs 202 per month is charged from government employees who live in Type-2 category, Rs 397 from legislators and Rs 794 who don’t belong to type-2 category.

Similarly, in type-3 category a rent of Rs 299 is charged from government employees, Rs 598 from legislators and Rs 1190 to other employees. Type-4 category people have to pay Rs 662, Rs 1323,Rs 2645 respectively while Type-5 category is charged Rs 962, Rs 1852 and Rs 3704 rent per month.

Monthly rent for Type-6 category is Rs 1323 for government employees, Rs 2545 for legislators and Rs 5290 for people who are neither government employees nor legislators.

Officials who are provided accommodation in type-7 category are charged a monthly rent of Rs 2645, legislators have to pay Rs 5290 for using the top category housing and others are charged Rs 10580.