Issuing land passbooks

Would have never been believed a few year ago that the most ticklish, if not complicated looking, land and revenue records could come out of the bounds of the four walls of the Revenue Department and be in the hands of the people. Thanks to the wonders done by IT revolution that revenue documents in millions have been scanned and digitalised in the country . How much important is it to have land measured and have its accurate records in India can be traced to thousands of years back when land was measured and its records maintained , in fact, that has been a part of our great civilization. However, with passing times, pressure on land started increasing and so became its impeccable and accurate calculations and measurement especially of its spatial positions with natural or human interventions, complicated. It gradually passed on into the hands of those few who devolved its peculiar language , script and even narration which became hard to precisely understand by a commoner and that gave place to ambiguities and manipulations, even to alleged corruption.
Nothing unusual , therefore, that maximum cases in courts are regarding land disputes between neighbours and even between close relations. Alleged incorrect measurement and tampering with actual records resulting in encroachments and illegal possession which at times lead to fighting, quarrels and even killings has, as of now, the only recourse to leaving to arbitrations and lengthy court cases. The same land , in most of the cases had either to be sold in part , mortgaged or dealt with in any other form under distress by those not so well off to collect money for fighting land related cases. Could not possibilities of bringing in a sweeping reform in land and revenue related issues to minimise, if not altogether do away with an injustice of the status of a virtual fait accompli , be tried all these decades , is a question involving various aspects including political ones. Information technology had its advent in 1984-85 but it was not tried and made use of in land related matters in a country like India which is predominantly agricultural.
Yes, there are certain hiccups and some resistance to introduction of innovative and reformist measures but the process has to start , the early the better. Now, it is heartening o note that consequent upon major part of Revenue documents , maps and Jumabandis having been successfully scanned in Jammu and Kashmir and such scanned documents having been placed in public domain is no mean achievement under the innovative scheme of Digital India Land record Modernization Programme (DILRMP) . Although the work in respect of survey of villages and mapping with the requisite technology is under process, yet the survey infrastructure is currently being created to include assignments like surveys, GIS maps, undertaking sensitization drives , making on ground demarcations and boundaries and finally generating of property cards . It is hoped, therefore, that all districts in Jammu and Kashmir are to be covered by August 15 next year with the improvised technology based surveys and calculations and marking of boundaries so that land pass books could be issued to people in both the capital cities of Jammu and Kashmir.
Not only this, the most sought after hassles free facility by the people in respect of land related information and even getting the requisite “fard” /copies of revenue records , through on-line facilities shall now be a reality and not a mere possibility. Such a sea change in the entire scenario of land related matters going to take place in Jammu and Kashmir along with most of the parts in the country shall be increasingly found by the people as convenient, time and money saving , accurate and last but not least quite hassles free and people friendly. If all activities and all records of the Department comprising registration, attestation , mutations etc are provided on one portal and one platform, that would further make availing of the services of the department quite smooth. We commend the stress of the government on adopting e- office model by the Revenue Department and shifting gradually all the processes to on-line mode. If facilities to connect revenue records with mobile and Aadhar card numbers of land owners are provided in the near future, that will herald an era of transparency, containment of owning be-nami properties, checking encroachments and above all the menace of corruption. The process is well begun and surely it will bear the desired fruits