Online access to land record a distant dream in JK
Srinagar, Sep 08: Though the Jammu and Kashmir government has launched Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP) in order to modernize management of land records, but having online access to land records is still a distant dream for the people of state. The government has already missed deadline to complete the digitization of land records in the twin capital cities and now it has been maintained the project will be completed by 2019. Sources told the vernacular news portal said that the pilot project in Jammu and Srinagar was started by revenue department in 2015, however the sluggish approach of the previous government could not make it happen to complete the ‘important project aimed to bring reforms and systematic changes in the revenue department’. After missing the deadline the former Minister for Revenue, Abdul Rehman Veeri had informed the Legislative Assembly that the Phase-I is now likely to be completed by ending March 2019. However sources in the revenue department told KNS that the pace of the work is very slow and it is unlikely to complete the project by 2019. Sources said that nobody knows when the Phase-II and Phase-III will be rolled out and completed. “It seems that people in Jammu and Kashmir have to wait years together for having access to online land records system”, sources said. The Phase-II was implemented from March 2018 to March 2020. Under Phase-II, 10 districts—Poonch, Ramban, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kargil, Udhampur, Leh, Doda, Bandipora and Rajouri will be taken up for implementation of DILRMP. Similarly, Phase-III will be implemented between April 2020 and March 2022 and under this phase the districts of Kathua, Kulgam, Shopian, Budgam, Reasi, Ganderbal, Pulwama, Kupwara, Kishtwar and Samba will be taken up. People in the state are among the worst sufferers of corruption in accessing the land records. “It has been still seen that people have to face the fraudulent mutations in violation of prescribed norms; tampering of revenue records with the ulterior motives of favoring un-deserving persons against monetary considerations; issuance of PRCs against monetary considerations,” said one of the social activists. Sources said that over the years hundreds of thousands of state land have been encroached upon or illegally and unauthorized occupied of course with the connivance of revenue functionaries. “The records are sometime mutilated or at other times deliberately distorted. All this situation results in litigation and hundreds of thousands of land dispute cases are pending in the courts of law. Many of these cannot be decided owing to lack of proper or adequate evidence. These and other difficulties will be removed once digitization of land records is finalized,” said one of the retire officials of the revenue department. In August 2008, the Union Government launched Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP) in order to modernize management of land records; minimize scope of land/property disputes; enhance transparency in the land records maintenance system and facilitate moving eventually towards guaranteed conclusive titles to immovable properties across the country. The official data in the possession of KNS reveals that against target of scanning 666.49 lakh revenue documents only 164.61 lakh revenue documents (58.77 lakh in Kashmir and 105.84 lakh in Jammu) have been scanned till December 2017. Similarly, against target of digitization of 1500 current serving maps 1147 were digitized in Jammu division. Against target of installation of 7000 Ground Control Points 4594 were installed in 18 districts while as survey of 4604 Ground Control Points were conducted against target of 7000. As against target of establishment of 217 Modern Record Rooms at Tehsil level 29 were taken up for construction under State Plan. Of these, 22 Modern Record Rooms were fully completed and one partially. One of the top government officials told KNS that authorities have been directed to complete the project within stipulated time.