"How can I help you sir?" – this is how the assistant land commissioners (AC lands) in Chattogram metropolitan are welcoming service seekers at the office gate.
The picture is completely different from the previous scene where the service seekers would remain missing from land offices thanks to brokers, bribes and bureaucratic tangles.
According to a district administration inquiry, a service seeker used to deal with at least three brokers to reach an AC land. With the findings, the district administration is now driving the land office brokers away to get rid of the "money moves land files" image.
"We have driven away 130 brokers from Chattogram city and district land offices. Another 100 will be dispelled within next one week," Mohammad Mominur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Chattogram, told The Business Standard.
The land office brokers had been at the land offices without any formal appointment. They used to live on daily wages for services to the land officials.
"Regular land staff get transferred, but the brokers do not. They are one of the key reasons for harassment in getting land-related services," Mominur said, adding the AC lands will serve the people at the office gates for the next one month to regain the image.
Currently, the AC lands are welcoming people at six land offices in the city. This eased up service, according to the DC, will be initiated at the upazila level offices gradually.
The deputy commissioner said police have arrested some of the brokers as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed cases against them.
"Graft will not be tolerated in any way," he said.