Thursday April 18, 2024

Public suffers as corruption aplenty in revenue department

Islamabad, a city with less than 100,000 population in 1951, became the 9th largest city in Pakistan with a current population standing 1,267,000

By Khalid Iqbal
January 22, 2024
A person can be seen holding notes of Pakistani currency Rupee in his hands. — AFP/File
A person can be seen holding notes of Pakistani currency Rupee in his hands. — AFP/File

Islamabad: The public has become a rolling stone as the revenue department of the federal capital, Islamabad has failed to deliver as the patwaris, naib tehsildars, tehsildar, and several other revenue officers do not even show up at work, outsourcing their duties to ‘munshis’ (assistants) who demand bribes from people according to their wish. The corrupt revenue officers in the federal capital, Islamabad were taking full advantage of the present unstable scenario and looting innocent public with both hands.

The residents of the federal capital, Islamabad have become a toy in the hands of the uneducated ‘munshis’ also called the ‘tout mafia’. But, higher authorities are looking at the whole drama with closed eyes.

The residents of Humak, Shah Allah Ditta, Model Town, Sohan, Korang Town, Phulgaran, Tarlia, Bhara Kahu, Sihala, Tumair Kirpa, Sangjani, Sarai Kharbooza, Nougazi, Khanna Daak, Pind Malkan, Chirah, Ali Pure Farash, Thanda Pani, Jhangi Syedan, Koral, Rawat, Loi Bher, Nurpur Shahan and several other areas have been protesting against corrupt officers in revenue department of federal capital. The residents of urban areas were also facing the worst situation due to corrupt revenue officers in Islamabad.

Islamabad, a city with less than 100,000 population in 1951, became the 9th largest city in Pakistan with a current population standing 1,267,000. In the beginning, Islamabad comprised only one zone, which is now multiplied into 5, extending the city’s boundaries to as far as the outskirts of Taxila in the west and Rawat in the south. From an investor’s point of view, every zone of Islamabad has its investment pros and cons.

“If people refuse to bribe the ‘Munshis’, they have to wait for weeks to get their work done. A portion of the bribe money also goes to ‘Tehsildars’ to expedite the process,” an internal source at the revenue department told ‘The News’ here on Sunday.

Tehsildar Islamabad Region Muhammad Owais who was reluctant to talk with ‘The News’ said that he was trying to streamline the whole system. “I discourage the ‘Munshi’ system in every ‘Patwaar’ circle,” he claimed. He said that affected people should contact him in case of a ‘bribe’ or any other demand. “I will never spare corrupt mafia in the revenue department”, he warned.

Patwaris and other revenue officers, in turn, pin the blame for their corrupt activities on their higher-ups. According to them, their seniors pressure them into turning a blind eye to bribery and do not reward them for their ‘hard work’.

The sources at the Citizen Facilitation Centre of the Revenue Department revealed that all of the offices were closed during duty hours. Absentees put up notes on their doors citing different reasons, including accidents and court hearings. None of the patwaris were present in the patwar khanas and Munshis were doing all the work instead.

Talking to ‘The News’ affected people belonging to different walks of life and protested against corrupt revenue officers in Islamabad region who were looting innocent people with both hands.

Muhammad Younas, a resident of Humak Village in the limit of federal capital said that he went to Patwaar Circle in PWD where munshi and other revenue officers took Rs10,000 bribe even for a genuine work. “My father Muhammad Yousaf wanted to give only a half marla land to his brother Muhammad Abdullah,” he said.

Rozina Bano, another affected lady said that the whole revenue department was handed over by private tout mafia ‘munshis’. The government officers were busy with other work rather than performing their duty, she denounced.

“We thought things would change, but sadly, corrupt practices, such as the acceptance of bribery continue to date,” Farhan Raja, an agitated citizen said. “We have lodged various complaints against the department and the rampant practice of bribery but they fell on deaf ears.”

Raja added that the only job the patwaris perform is signing the documents that their munshis prepare. “We have to pay Rs5,000 per marla for registration while the actual government fee is much less,” he added.

Mukhtar Ahmed, a resident of Sohan that the patwaris also deliberately make mistakes while carrying out the registration process, and later demanded money to rectify the errors. “People have paid thousands of rupees in bribes for the statement of property transfer and those who don’t bribe the munshis have to wait for very long periods,” he said.