Srinagar: As many as 15 former ministers are yet to vacate the bungalows or ministerial quarters allotted to them by state’s estate department even long after demitting office.
Six of the ex-ministers as also Shamima Firdous(former chairperson women’s commission from National Conference) are presently members of state legislature and, therefore, eligible for government accommodation, but not bungalows or ministerial quarters that are reserved only for ministers.
This was revealed by director of state’s estates department, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Itoo, in an affidavit filed by him before a bench of J&K High Court comprising Justice Hasnain Massodi.
In all, there are 46 unauthorized occupants of the simple or ministerial government accommodation in Srinagar, he said.
Among them include seven MLAs, who are not officially entitled to the bungalows, nineteen are former ministers, MLAs, MLC or MPs among 39 persons who are occupying the government accommodation without authorization.
The six former ministers who are presently MLAs include National Conference’s Mohammad Akhbar Lone, Davinder Rana, Ali Mohammad Sagar and Mubarak Gul besides Congress’s Vikar Rasool Wani and independent legislator Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen.
“They (along with Shahmima Firdous) are continuing to retain ministerial houses and bungalows when in law they are not entitled thereto rather obligated to vacate and are liable to be relocated to the accommodation earmarked for sitting MLAs/MLCs,” Itoo said.
Among the 39 occupants include Sakina Itoo (former social welfare minister), Mir Saifullah (ex-law and parliamentary affairs minister, Abdul Majid Wani (former R&B minister), G A Mir (former tourism minister), Nasir Aslam Wani (Mos Home), Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed (former Hajj and Auqaf minister), Syed Bashir Ahmad, Javid Ahmad Dar (works minister), Rafi Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Shafi Bhat, Nizamudin Bhat (of PDP), Chowdary Mohammad Ramzan(ex- CAPD minister), Ghulam Mohidin Sofi (ex-PDP minister), Sonaullah Dar, Arvind Singh Micky, Khalid Najeeb Soharwardi, Ali Mohammad Bhat, Aga Syed Razvi, Ghulam Rasool Kar and Ghulam Hassan Khan.
Others include political workers of PDP, Congress and NC, a teacher, policemen, advocates, engineers and some private persons, he said.
They include Abdul Hamid Bhat (retd SP), Rafiq Ahmad Dar (political person), Aijaz Ahmad Kirmani (Rtd AEE), Shamim Ahmad (lawyer), Mushtaq Ahmad (Private person), Wani Hilal Ahmad (State Gen Secy PCC), Mansoora Akhtar (nurshing orderly), Mohammad Shafi (Political worker), Parwaiz Ahmad Bhat (PDP worker), Manzoor Ahmad (AEE PDD), B M Sadiq (lawyer), Moulvi Tariq (defeated counselor Batamaloo), Aliya (nothing mentioned in column ‘allotted as’), Ab Rouf Bhat (political worker), Kuldeep Kumar (Rtd DSP), Gh Nabi Shah (worker NC), family of late Nirmala Koul (teacher) and Ashwani Kumar (Rtd Accountant PHQ).
“Most of the ex ministers and MLAS Including those who have already invoked the jurisdiction of high court have, even after the allotment of the accommodation/ accommodations in question, retained and continue to retain accommodation allotted to them at MLA Hostel Srinagar, located in the high security zone area,” Itoo said.
Some of the former ministers including PDP’s Ghulam Mohidin Sofi (forest minister in erstwhile PDP-Congress government) and Sonalluah Dar (minister during early 80s) have been occupying the quarters for decades.
While Ghulam Rasool Kar, who died only last week, also figures in the list, the quarter was allotted to him at Jawahar Nagar in 2014.
Kar became a member of the Assembly in 1951 and served as a minister from 1965 to 1971 and 1972 to 1975 before being nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha in 1984. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Baramulla constituency in 1996.
The affidavit was filed by the director estates in compliance to directions by the high court, asking him to reveal details of former ministers and legislators among other persons occupying government accommodation unauthorisedly in Srinagar.
Regarding the direction about details of the private properties owned by the unauthorized occupants in and around the limits of City of Srinagar, the director has said: “As per Rules and Regulations occupying the field, the Department is not required to maintain any record qua houses or dwelling units owned and possessed in personal capacity by the ministers and sitting or ex-legislators in the State.”
However, he has submitted information which the legislatures or ex-ministers had submitted before Election Commission.