Bureaucrats distribute industrial land among kith and kin

Srinagar: Flouting norms, top bureaucrats working in District Industries Centre Kulgam and Department of Industries and Commerce have allotted industrial area land meant for the emerging entrepreneurs to their kith and kin.
According to sources, most of these candidates are kin and close relatives of Incharge Functional Manager DIC Kulgam, Ex-Director and Ex-Joint Director, Industries and Commerce and other blue-eyed entrepreneurs who already had their units established in other industrial estates of the Valley.
Sources said that for setting up their units DIC Kulgam had invited the applications in 2012 along with project reports from the interested entrepreneurs for the allotment of land in industrial estate, Kulgam. The centre received hundreds of applications.
As per norms, the centre through singe window system screens applications and project reports in which representatives of various departments including Industries and Commerce Department, State Pollution Control Board, Power Development Department and others check the feasibility of projects and decide the allotment of the land.
However, on January 25, 2013 DIC issued the allotment of land order to 33 candidates in secrecy without calling any single window meeting.
“All these orders have been issued on a same day and it is not possible for single window meeting to clear 33 cases in a day,” sources said.
In one such case, as per sources, the ex-director Industries and Commerce, Merhaj-ud-din Kenu allotted the land to her daughter as per order number 36 under the name of ‘Medicos Surgical’, Kulgam.
In other cases, the Incharge Functional Manager, Mohammad Iqbal Lone, as per order number 26 allotted a plot of land to his second wife Shameem Akhter under the name of ‘Big Deal Agri-Tools’. Sources said that again as per order number 28 he allotted a plot of land to his brother-in-law under the name of ‘S.J Industries’.
Sources also said that as per order number 48, a plot of land has been also allotted to Tahir Ibrahim, under the name of ‘Bhat Agro Foods’, the brother of then Joint Director, Industries and Commerce Bilal Ahmad Bhat. Bilal is currently posted as ADC Kupwara.
Also under the order number 40, a plot of land was allotted to Shakeel Ahmad Dandroo, under the name of ‘Steel Age Industries’, but as per sources he is already running a unit in industrial estate Anantnag under the name of ‘Media Printing Paints and Advertising and Steel Furniture’.
In another such case, a plot of land has been allotted to Abdul Rashid Ahanger, under the name of ‘John Steel Fabrications’ Kulgam, however, the unit is already in existence at Arwani.
“While other allotments have been made after receiving huge amount of money as a bribe from the entrepreneurs,” said sources.
According to discarded aspirants the allotments were made when the ex-director Industries had to retire and the allotments were issued separately before retirement without any notification or any advertisement in the DIC Kulgam and Directorate Industries.
They also said that they had lodged a formal complaint against these illegal allotments before Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell, Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce and Director Industries and Commerce, but no action has been taken so far.
When Director Industries and Commerce, Nazim Zai Khan was contacted on the issue he said no written complaint has been made.
“I had asked them to give me a written complaint, but I have not received anything,” said Khan.