A govt official who believes in serving people

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A govt official who believes in serving people


Publication Date: 30 December, 2016

Media: The Independent

Original URLA govt official who believes in serving people

E-paper  URL: A govt official who believes in serving people

In a world of corruption, red tape and bribery, the Sitakunda assistant commissioner (AC) of the land office in Chittagong comes as a breath of fresh air.

AC (land) Mohammad Ruhul Amin, who joined office on July 13 this year, does not sit behind closed doors, to open which the common man may have to cross several hurdles. He sits at the door instead, hears people’s complaints, and delivers instant decisions or solutions to their problems. By doing this, Amin has effectively closed the door on middlemen.

The Independent found Md Arif, a 50-year-old schoolteacher, who had come at the land office to have a land record corrected. “I could not believe that I would get my ‘khatian’ (record of land rights) corrected within two hours. I had tried many times in January to get the record corrected. The revenue collectors had made a mistake. But I could not get it done,” said a pleasantly surprised Arif.

Not only record corrections, mutation ‘khatians’, copies of ‘khatians’ and copies of land mutation DCR (duplicate carbon receipt) are also being delivered instantly.

Md Eklas Uddin, 45,  had come to the office for a copy of his ‘khatian’. He got it within an hour of submitting his application. Like Arif and Eklas Uddin, Md Yeakub Chowdhury, Md Idris Chowdhury, Jahanara Begum and Md Aladuin were also happy to get their jobs done within a day. They said they would earlier have to bribe the officials and wait for six to eight months after applying for the mutation in the AC (land) office.

Amin is quite clear about his approach. “The government has appointed me to serve people. People will want to talk to me. They will want service from me. I sit at the entrance so that they can find me directly. They are getting prompt service following all rules,” he said.

“Every day, 60 to 70 people come to seek my services. Around 30 per cent of them come with minor complaints such as not getting DCR, printing mistake and record corrections. These can be solved instantly,” the AC explained.

“In some other cases, too, if we get the applications in the morning, and if the documents are found in order, we deliver the solutions by evening. In most of the cases, we, land office employees, are responsible for the mistakes. People cannot suffer for our mistakes,” said Amin, cutting a rare figure among government officials.

“Government officials have an obligation to settle mutation applications within 45 days. But they are not settled in several months. I found 1,200 such applications after breaking the lock of an almirah soon after joining office. I have settled all cases,” he said. “I have taken an initiative that stops the officials of this office from telling people to come tomorrow. Why should people come tomorrow? Whoever comes today will get service from me today. It is embarrassing for me if I have to tell someone to come tomorrow,” he added.

He also requested all his counterparts across the country to start this initiative. He said that if all land officials take this initiative, Bangladesh will soon be a model of harassment-free service to people.

In the 166 days of his joining office, Amin has disposed of 2,700 applications, including mutations, record corrections and printing mistakes. He has already realised Tk. 3.50 crore in the form of land development tax against his yearly target of Tk. 5 crore.

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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