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Ranchi pitches for digital land records

The district administration has once again sought Rs 50 lakh from the state revenue and land reforms department to digitise — and thus secure — land survey documents kept in the century-old records room at the district collectorate in the heart of the capital.

In a letter, dated May 25, to the department’s principal secretary N.N. Pandey, the district administration has stressed that computerisation of land records was necessary for both security of the documents and speedy disposal of pending applications.

Most applications sent to this Kutchery-based records room request copies of land records or seek to know the nature of land (tribal or non-tribal) being dealt with.

“But, the problem is there are only four photocopying personnel in the records room against the sanctioned strength of eight. And, around 8,000 applications are pending. Only digital records can ensure security of land records and address queries at the earliest. Estimated infrastructure cost will be around Rs 50 lakh, which has been sought from the government in the current financial year,” a source at the district collectorate said.

Deputy commissioner K.K. Soan the demand was long-pending and in public interest. “We had first demanded a sum of Rs 50 lakh in a letter on February 13, 2012, and then again on March 6, 2012, for digitisation of records, but the same could not be provided in the recently passed budget. So, we once again wrote to the revenue and land reforms department on May 25,” he added.

When contacted, principal secretary Pandey offered some hope of the funds being sanctioned. “The issue will be discussed on Monday when special secretary (of the department) A.K. Rastogi returns from leave,” he said.

Civil court advocate A.K. Mishra, who is waiting for a copy of land papers for more than three months, said: “If land records are made available in digital format, people will have easy access. We won’t have to grease palms to get work done,” he said.