VIJAYAWADA: With Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed to inquire into the Visakhapatnam land scam, all eyes are riveted on what move the State government is going to take against some of the IAS officers involved in it? Will the government punish the IAS officers based on the SIT report is the question doing rounds in political as well as bureaucratic circles.
It is also learnt that the SIT made clear recommendations for recovering lands.Besides Dharmana Prasada Rao, former Revenue minister and YSRC leader, the SIT reported that several IAS officers, including District Collector of Visakhapatnam Praveen Kumar, Kurnool District Collector Satyanarayana, Port Trust chairperson Krishna Babu and other IAS officers, including Lav Agarwal, Sunil Sharma, Sandeep Kumar Sultania and Veerabrahmaiah, are involved in the matter.But the issue that is puzzling many is what action the government is going to take against the IAS officers involved in the scam.
When asked about the government’s future action on the issue, an official, on the condition of anonymity, said as of now the issue was gathering political dust.Meanwhile, senior IAS officer MT Krishna Babu, whose name figured in the SIT report, said, “We have cross checked all four NOCs for which they (then JC and District Collector) have given permission during our tenure (in 2002) with all available records and physical examination methods.”
Krishna Babu was then joint collector of Vizag district when the scam took place. Another senior IAS officer Sunil Sharma was then District Collector.“As we came to know that some records along with the ‘D-Register’ were missing from the revenue department, we designed a three-phase checking system to issue NOCs against the ex-servicemen and freedom-fighters’ lands. In the first phase, we ordered inspection of the land by Tehsildar and RDO and in the next phase, District Sainik Welfare Board checked the certificates issued. In the third phase, we told them to compare all signatures and available records. Only after fulfilling these three steps, did we issue NOCs for those lands,’’ he said. This was done to ensure that ex-servicemen or freedom fighters families don’t suffer due to mistakes by the revenue department, the CMD of Visakhapatnam Port Trust said.
“With sympathetic thought only did we issue the NOCs. Our approach proved to be correct even in the police inquiry. No one expressed any doubts at that time on our decisions,” Krishna Babu said.