Announced 10 months back, bar-coded Revenue Registers yet to be introduced

Delay even after installation of machine at Govt Press

*Step imperative to standardize extracts, curb frauds

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Aug 10: Though over 10 months have lapsed since the formal announcement from the Government, bar-coded Revenue Registers are yet to be introduced in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir despite the fact that this step is imperative to standardize the revenue extracts and curb the frauds.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that decision about bar-coding of the Revenue Registers was taken by the Government on the recommendations of a high-level committee, which was constituted vide Order No.146-Rev(Vij) of 2018 dated August 8, 2018 to suggest measures to ensure transparency in delivery of public services to the citizens coupled with overall improvement in the efficiency in the functioning of the revenue administration.
The recommendations of the committee made vide Communication No. FCR/ STS/ SOP/109/ 2018 dated March 22, 2019 were accepted by the Government in the month of October last year and accordingly the Revenue Department vide Communication No.Rev/Vig/89/ 2017-I dated October 18, 2019 issued detailed instructions for immediate appropriate action.
“Various Revenue Registers like Mutation Registers, Jamabandi (RoR) Registers and Khasra Girdawari Registers etc shall be printed centrally through Ranbir Government Press with proper numbering and bar-coding to standardize the revenue extracts and to curb the frauds in their issuance”, the Revenue Department had mentioned in the instructions.
It was further mentioned that the Deputy Commissioners will assess their annual requirement and forward the same to the Regional Director, Survey and Land Records Srinagar/Jammu as per the already laid down procedure by end of December each year enabling the Government Press to make available the supplies by coming March.
However, despite lapse of 10 months bar-coded Revenue Registers have not been introduced in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir mainly because of delay on the part of the Ranbir Government Press, sources said, adding “the bar-coding of the Revenue Registers has not been started till date although machine for the purpose was installed in February-March this year”.
It is pertinent to mention here that barcodes eliminate the possibility of human error, reduces employee training time, are inexpensive to design and print, are extremely versatile, improve inventory control, provide better data, which is also available rapidly and above all are useful in curbing the frauds.
When contacted, Financial Commissioner Revenue, Dr Pawan Kotwal said, “Ranbir Government Press has already been asked to start bar-coding of the Revenue Registers as early as possible so that recommendations of the high level committee are translated into reality”.
“I don’t know what is the problem at the end of Government Press”, he said in response to a question. However, he admitted that bar-coded Revenue Registers will go a long way in better management of data and to curb frauds.
However, General Manager of Ranbir Govt Press Aijaz Akhoon said, “we have recently resolved the issue of training of our staff in handling the bar-coding machine by approaching the supplier of the machine online”, adding “we will shortly approach the Financial Commissioner Revenue for providing necessary details to us and hopefully bar-coded Revenue Registers will be available shortly”.
About maintenance of revenue records/extracts in demystified manner and use of English language as sub-script in the titles, which was also the recommendation of the high-level committee, Dr Pawan Kotwal said, “since substantial progress has been made towards digitization of revenue records under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme this issue will also get resolved in near future”.
He admitted that demystifying of record was imperative in the light of the fact that even senior functionaries of the Revenue Department are unable to understand the cryptic terms being used in the revenue records.
As per the guidelines/ instructions issued by the Government, field functionaries of the Revenue Department are supposed to maintain the revenue records/ extracts in demystified and simplified manner by recording the quantities and numerals of land in the Revenue Registers in standard Indo Arabic numerals like 1,2,3…. to make revenue extracts readable and intelligible to the common masses.