Govt sleeping over proposal to demystify language of revenue records since 2016

Cryptic terms leading to frauds, corruption in system

High-level panel recommends prompt action to check misuse

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Mar 19: Despite being aware of the fact that use of cryptic and archaic terms is leading to frauds and corruption in the system, the Government is sleeping over the proposal for demystify and simplify the language of revenue records during the past two and half years, which otherwise was mooted in order to avoid monopolizing of the information and consequent misuse at the cost of the hapless citizens.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that all the record and correspondence in the Executive/Government business is being conducted in English in the whole State. Even the Judiciary and the Legislative business is being conducted in English (though copies in Urdu are provided in the case of the latter).
“It is only the Revenue Department functionaries in the field who are still using the archaic and cryptic terms/ numerals in the construction and maintenance of the revenue record thereby restricting the revenue information to a very select persons which leads to monopolizing of the information and consequent misuse at the cost of the hapless citizens”, they further said.
At present the revenue records are written and maintained in Urdu script with Persian terminology. Moreover, the numbers and quantities of the land in the extracts are mentioned/written in the complex language and not in the normal Indo-Arabic numerals.
“In fact, it doesn’t equip the seeker with useful intelligible information even if he has the textual information right in his hand and is thus clear violation of the spirit of the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act”, sources said, adding “the situation has become grim in view of the decrease in the level and reach of the Urdu script”.
Keeping this in mind, a proposal for printing the titles in the various Revenue Registers in Urdu with translation in English as subscript in a smaller font was furnished to the Administrative Department vide Financial Commissioner Revenue office communication dated September 21, 2016. Even reminders were issued on December 20, 2016, February 15, 2017, April 24, 2017 and July 26, 2017.
“However, the proposal is still gathering dust in the Revenue Department Civil Secretariat, which clearly establishes that those who remained at the helm of affairs in the department since September 21, 2016 were least bothered about the difficulties being faced by the people due to archaic and cryptic terms”, sources said.
They further said, “what to talk of common masses even senior functionaries of the Revenue Department right from Financial Commissioner Revenue to the Tehsildar are unable to understand the cryptic terms as most of the direct recruit officers have very little familiarity either with the Urdu language or complex terms being used in the revenue records”.
This has also become a big handicap in the disposal of the disputes/ court cases by the senior revenue authorities like Financial Commissioner Revenue, Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners Revenue and Sub-Divisional Magistrates.
The proposal came up for discussion before the high-level committee constituted by the Government to suggest measures for streamlining the functioning of the Revenue Department and committee in its report to the Government has stressed the urgent need to demystify and simplify the language and content of the revenue record.
“This step would go a long way in bringing transparency and efficiency in the system and reduce the chances of fraud and corruption”, the committee headed by Financial Commissioner Revenue said.
The committee has further underlined the need to write the quantities and numerals in the Revenue Registers in Indo Arabic numerals which everybody can read and understand as the Urdu numerals are neither readable nor intelligible for common masses.
“Moreover, there is an urgent need to get various Revenue Registers like Mutation Registers, Jamabandi Registers and Khasra Girdawri Registers etc printed centrally through the Ranbir Government Press with proper numbering and barcoding so that the revenue extracts can be standardized and frauds in their issuance are curbed”, the committee has further stressed.
It is hoped that the Governor’s Administration would pull up the Revenue Department for sleeping over proposal of much importance and get it cleared for the convenience of the common masses and transparency in the functioning of the Revenue Department.