Dual accommodation to legislators, bureaucrats puts pressure on exchequer: CAG

State’s Estate Department while violating rules and regulations has been allotting dual accommodation to Member of Legislature at Srinagar and Jammu, and the brunt has to be faced by the already struggling state exchequer. 

As per the report, SRO 599 prohibits dual allotment of accommodation to Member of Legislature either at Srinagar or at Jammu or at both places. However, in violations of the norms accommodation has been provided to the legislators at both the places, thus incurring losses to the state.

“Audit scrutiny showed that 55 Members of Legislature including Ministers/ Chairman of various boards/ Chairman Legislative Council and other legislators who have been allotted Government accommodation by the Estates at Jammu and Srinagar cities were occupying accommodation at MLAs hostels at Jammu and Srinagar provided by the Legislative Assembly Secretariat,” the report said.

This had resulted in dual occupation of Government accommodation. The report further said that it was also seen that two legislators had been provided accommodation by the Custodian Department apart from accommodation by the Estates Department and Legislative Assembly Secretariat.

The report has also said that there have been grave violations of norms while issuing the allotments for accommodation by the department.

“As per practice, the allotment of Government residential quarters during Darbar move either at Jammu or Srinagar is done on repeat orders of allotment of previous years, as the occupants of these quarters do not surrender their quarters during Darbar move. Fresh allotment of Government residential quarters is made only in respect of quarters vacated due to transfer, retirement of employees or other reasons. For this purpose, repeat/ fresh allotment approval of the Competent Authority is obtained,” the report said.

Audit scrutiny of the repeat order approvals sought for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15 showed that instead of only repeating the names of last year’s occupants in these lists, 456 fresh allotments had been inserted. The approval of fresh allotments of Government accommodations had not been obtained separately, the report alleged.

As per the report, Director Estates in July 2015 stated that repeat order was to be issued after every six months and the allotment/change made during the course of six months was to be included in the order. It was further stated that such order was issued after fulfilling the required formalities and obtaining approval of the Competent Authority.

“The reply was not convincing as the Department had not furnished allotment orders of fresh allotments inserted in the repeat order list,” the report stated.

The report in its Audit Analysis stated that it was observed “none of the 267 applicants appearing in the wait list prepared during April 2013 to December 2013 had been provided residential accommodation during 2013-14 and 2014-15.”

While raising serious questions on the allotment of quarters, the report analysed that “allotment of Government residential quarters was not done as per entitlement of officers/ officials. Non-adherence to the provisions of allotment rules led to allotment of residential quarters to 181 officers/ officials who were not entitled for such residential quarters, while 182 officers had been provided residential accommodation in quarters below their entitlements.”

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