Mutation files gather dust at Kolkata municipality office

Hundreds of files have been piling up at the one-day mutation counter, which was supposed to send the documents to the divisions concerned in the assessment department so that records could be kept properly.

KOLKATA: Faizal Alam, a resident of Christopher Road, has been making the rounds of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation headquarters to settle a dispute that has arisen after his son’s name was inserted in the mutation certificate of his house as a successor of the property. But the visits to the KMC assessment department have yielded little results as the file, which has the record of Alam’s mutation records, is apparently missing from the department. The mutation of Alam’s property was done at a one-day mutation counter at the KMC headquarters in June 2014.

Similar is the plight of Sumanta Sen of Phoolbagan who got his property mutated in 2013 from the one-day mutation centre but ever since, he has been struggling to get an error in the mutation certificate corrected. Sen’s name as a successor was wrongfully deleted from the mutation certificate by his family members. Now that he has proved that he is indeed a lawful heir to his ancestral property, Sen has to insert his name in the mutation certificate but the department has “no records”.

Alam and Sen are no exceptions. Hundreds of files have been piling up at the one-day mutation counter, which was supposed to send the documents to the divisions concerned in the assessment department so that records could be kept properly and necessary corrections or changes in the title of the properties could be made. But files are rarely sent from the one-day special counter on the ground floor of the civic headquarters building to the first and second floors of the same building for months, and in some cases, for years.

The results have been obvious. Property owners, who have got the mutation of their properties done at the one-day counter and now want to make changes, have been running from pillar to post but to no avail. According to the rules, whenever a mutation certificate is issued from the one-day counter, the file containing documents are sent to the assessment department, where they are filed in ward-wise divisions, according to the properties’locations.

The one-day mutation counter20 employees under a deputy manager of assessmentwas opened in 2013 following a spate of complaints in municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed’s office against the delay in the issuing of mutation certificates. The counter was opened to redress the grievances of property owners and Ahmed ordered the in-charge to issue mutation certificates in a week if all relevant papers of the applicants are valid and the properties were not caught in legal tussles. The deadline is met but files containing the documents are reportedly never sent to the assessment department, for rectification or correction of a property title wrongfully inserted or addition or deletion of the names of heirs.

A KMC assessment department official conceded that it was a major problem that hundreds of files had been piling up on the floor of the one-day counter. “There are no less than a 1,000 files that have been gathering dust over the past three years,” a KMC staff said. Mayor Sovan Chatterjee on Wednesday said, “I will ask the officials concerned to find a solution at the earliest.”

HomeShikari’s View – by P.Sunder, CEO

Get the mutation done in a day and then run around for years. It is not just the Kolkata municipality but with every municipality across the country. Government bodies in the process of digitisation of records or such processing melas make mistakes and then don’t provide a clear and transparent process for rectification. With the kind of mistakes that keep happening, it almost seems like some agencies do it as a habit to milk money out of hapless citizens. Make an intentional mistake and then make the citizen cough up money to rectify the mistake. Another interesting case has been that of Chennai where EC (Encumbrance certificates) come with an interesting condition “The government agency is not responsible for mistakes, errors in the records.” Interesting is it?

Courtesy:Economic Times(Bangalore).

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