In a meeting with the Commercial Tax and Registration Department in July, the Chief Minister had stressed on ensuring transparency at all offices and the government proposed cancellation of registration if the property documents were forged. Then, the token system was introduced to avoid the VIP culture at Registration offices. However, things have not improved much when it comes to transparency, admitted sources in the secretariat.
According to sources, the recent DVAC raids against district registrars and sub-registrar offices made a section of top officials relieved, as their efforts seeking transparency in the department had earlier fallen on deaf ears for the past five months.
“After the regime change, the government brought in new policies promising people-friendly initiatives. But only a few registrar offices have changed. The offices are soaked with corrupt practices. The back-to-back raids and arrest of two top officials are indicators of the situation,” admitted a senior official.
The recent seizure of Rs 14 lakh from district registrar Meenakumari came as a shock to several officials. Registration department officials were also caught two months ago after raids at Mylapore and Villivakkam sub-registrar offices, the official pointed.
The department is divided and a majority of them failed to adhere to the new transparency norms. Now, there are rumours that the no-nonsense department secretary Jothi Nirmala may be shunted out soon because of lobbying by vested interests on behalf of the real estate sector, the official said.