It is one post that many would give their right hands willingly to be appointed on, but it seems no one is interested in becoming a 'patwari' in the City Beautiful.
What is more perplexing is the fact that real estate prices are quite high in Chandigarh, compared to neighbouring Punjab and Haryana, making the job more "lucrative".
Despite a low salary that accompanies it, the job is considered plum across the country. In any other state, job-seekers would have made a beeline at revenue offices in case such posts were advertised, especially given the boom in the real estate in recent years.
Sources said that there were no takers for the posts in the UT administration despite innumerable recruitment advertisements given in the past and more than a dozen requests made to Punjab and Haryana governments by Chandigarh for suitable candidates to take up the job.
Worse still, Chandigarh administration doesn't have its own facility to give formal training to fresh candidates in "Patwarkhana" course. Hence, there is always a dearth of fresh eligible candidates from within the UT and the administration has with no other option but to borrow the patwaris from Punjab and Haryana.
Out of the total 17 posts of patwaris in the UT administration, only three are occupied by regular employees and another four by staff on contract.
Of the total posts, 10 are in the estate office that deals solely with ownership and sale-purchase of properties in the city. The remaining seven are in revenue office, responsible for maintaining records of rural land holdings.
"Originally, we had 20 such posts. However, finding that nobody either from Punjab or Haryana or from UT itself wanted to get the job, we had abolished three posts a few years ago. Thereafter, besides regular employees on three posts, we were left with no option but to appoint contractual employees against four vacancies. Even then, 10 posts are still lying vacant," remarked a revenue officer.
Sources said that 'patwaris' from Punjab and Haryana were always reluctant to come on deputation since they work in a comparatively small and close-knit Chandigarh administration, where they would have to work directly under the supervision of IAS officers, that too from other states.
A public dealing post that is sensitive, its occupants are under surveillance of agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Chandigarh, which is not the case with other states.
This is a major deterrent, especially after the booth allotment scam in which revenue officials working in UT were indicted, revealed an officer who wished not to be quoted.