Strong resentment is brewing among people of Akhnoor sub division, as nearly two thousand applications seeking PRC are pending disposal for the last four months because the Sub Divisional Magistrate has not cleared the same. From Akhnoor to Pallanwala, people have been facing hardships due to the ignorant attitude adopted by the authorities in issuing PRCs. Under PGSA, the certificate has to be issued within 30 days.
Despite the fact that the Sub Divisional Magistrate has been given the powers to issue the PRC by the government under a special provision, the PRCs are not being issued, the reason best known to the concerned. The powers come to the SDM ‘by name’ that are extended to by the Revenue Secretary.
Reliable sources said that the present SDM N S Jamwal, who had joined as SDM, few months back, though given powers to dispose pending files, has not cleared the same.
Most of the applicants whose cases are pending had applied two to four months back and even after completing all the formalities they are unable to get their PRCs, sources revealed. These people come from far off villages whose distance from the Tehsil headquarter range from five to 25 kilometers.
Vijay Kumar s/o Gopal Dass of village Panjgrain has applied for PRC three months back while Jagdish Raj of village Bruai has applied one and half months back. Similarly, Rakesh Kumar of Panjtoot Pallanwala applied four months back whereas Mukesh Kumar of Bal Troh panchayat applied six months back.
The indifferent attitude of the concerned has stirred up strong resentment among the people who are running from pillar to post to secure the important document.
“The lackadaisical attitude of the authorities has cost me dearly as I missed the chance to appear in the common entrance test for want of the certificate,” said an applicant, adding, “I came here dozens of times but every time have to go back disappointed.”
Others also echoing similar views said they had attached all the relevant documents in their file but the authorities had been adopting the delay tactics in issuing the PRC.
“I have to apply for a government job for which a PRC is required, but the authorities do not understand my problem,” another applicant said.
Some undeserving people have managed to get PRCs in this State, but those who are deserving, have been facing hardships due to the casual approach being adopted by the authorities, they alleged.
They have appealed Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla and Divisional Commissioner Jammu Pradeep Gupta to intervene in the matter. Deputy Commissioner Sanjiv Verma was also apprised of the problem.
Despite repeated attempts, contact on phone with the Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla could not be materialized.
It is pertinent to mention here that under Jammu & Kashmir Public Services Guarantee Act, the PRC has to be issued within 30 days.
On August 23 last year, Commissioner-Secretary of General Administration Department, Mohammad Sayeed Khan, issued Circular No: 25-GAD, making it adequately clear that the concerned departments would have to designate appellate authorities and those failing to issue documents like Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) would be liable to punishment like under RTI Act.
Under SRO-224, Government has specifically mentioned several common services under PSGA’s ambit including in department of Revenue (Permanent Resident Certificate).
Under PSGA, officials are bound to issue such documents and provide the specified services within a particular time-frame and their default makes them liable to punishment, including fine and compensation to the aggrieved applicant, by appellate authority much like RTI Act.
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