Bihar revenue dept officers upset over land survey work under Covid cloud
Even as the state government has issued guidelines, encouraging staff to work from home with only 25 % attendance in offices owing to the surge in Covid-19 cases, revenue and settlement officers posted in the districts are a bit miffed over the latest directive from their department that land survey-related work is carried out and completed as per targets.
In a letter issued by the land revenue department’s land records and survey directorate on Wednesday, all officers in districts have been asked to attend the review meeting, held online every fortnight, with information about progress of ongoing land survey related work.
The letter also asks district revenue and settlement officers to hold online review meetings with officials posted at the camps in villages for updates on survey work. The emphasis has also been that survey work should be carried as per targets.
“ Though the department has asked us to attend online review meetings, the survey work is continuing and we have to make field visits for updates. Field officers are also working with great risk.Is it feasible to interact with people at village level for different aspects of survey work to complete pending works?,” asked a settlement officer, requesting anonymity.
Reports said in Munger around 25% of the total officers engaged in survey work, including amins, have been infected. “Even villagers are refusing to cooperate in the survey work..many village heads have written to the department seeking suspension of the work. But what can we do?” said another survey officer, posted in the district.
In Bihar, a survey to update land records is on in 90 circles covering 5,099 villages in 20 districts. The survey work is in different stages -- such as initial verification of boundaries, validation of tri-junction, kistawar (update of land maps based on aerial survey) and then update of land owners with maps of holdings.
Commenting on the reported protests within the department, Jai Singh, director, land records and survey, said the letter issued to district settlement officers was in the context of holding online review meetings. “ 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 up outdoor work right now. A lot work, such as uploading data and other documentation work, can be done in the office,” he said,.
“We are only stressing on working in virtual mode,” he clarified.
Bihar is among the 11 states that account for 78.18% of the countries active cases along with Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.