Revenue officers resent survey work amid pandemic
Even as the state government has issued guidelines for government staff to work from home with only 25 % attendance in offices owing to the massive surge in Covid cases, revenue and settlement officials posted in the districts are miffed over the latest directive from the revenue department to ensure land survey related work is carried out and completed as per targets set.
In a letter issued by the land revenue department’s land records and survey directorate on Wednesday, it has been instructed that all officials in districts would take part in the review meeting every fortnight by giving information about progress of ongoing land survey related work and other updates through online mode.
It has also been directed that district revenue and settlement officers would hold review meetings with officials posted at the camps in villages to take updates on survey work through online mode. The emphasis has also been that survey work should be carried as per targets.
“Though the department has asked us to attend review meetings through online mode, the survey work is continuing and we have make field visits to get updates Field officers are also working with great risk.At this point, when Covid cares are surging, is it feasible to interact with people at village level for different aspects of survey work to complete pending works in a targeted manner?” asked a settlement officer, seeking anonymity. He said the department should have suspended the survey work for the time being in light of Covid cases.
“In many districts, the survey work has progressed while in some districts in central and north Bihar, it is still in initial stages where camp officials are required to interact with villagers for map verification and boundaries. This will only expose people to the risk of Covid infections since cases are rising in rural areas too,” said another revenue officer, posted in Begusarai.
Reports said that in Munger, around 25% of officials engaged in survey work have been infected. “Even villagers are now refusing to co-operate in the survey work and asking us not to come to their villages. Many mukhiyas have given in writing to the department to suspend the work,” said another survey officer, pleading anonymity.
In Bihar, the special survey to update land records is going on in 90 circles covering 5,099 villages in 20 districts.
However, Jai Singh, director, land records and survey, said that the letter issued to district settlement officers was in context of holding review meetings through online mode. “ Yes, the survey work is going on and has to be completed as per targets set. But we are not insisting on people to take outdoor work right now . Things like uploading data and other documentary work can be done at office level,” he said.