Digitisation of land records misses 2nd deadline

Started more than five years ago with much fanfare, the first phase of digitization of land records across Jammu and Kashmir has missed the second deadline.

Under the Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (DILRMP) the Revenue Department had selected two districts –Srinagar and Jammu – for digitization, in 2015. Though the project was scheduled for completion in March 2018, the authorities missed the first deadline following which the deadline was revised to June 2020. But the project is still nowhere near completion.

An official said they have completed scanning of 95 percent revenue documents and of the 137 revenue villages of Srinagar, 98 percent of Jamanandis have been completed.

“Almost 60 percent to 65 percent of Jamabandis have been uploaded/digitized while 20 percent to -25 percent of these documents have been sent back to Patwaris concerned for correction,” said the official.

He said settlement process which is at final stage will have deficiencies if updated Jamabandis are not 100 percent correct.

“After uploading updated Jamabandis, there may occur some error or mistake which needs correction and that would be done by the concerned Patwaris at the final stage of digitsation. This is very important stage as land owner can’t afford any error in the revenue record,” said the official.

The centrally sponsored scheme DILRMP is an integrated programme aimed at modernizing land records to minimize scope of land or property disputes and enhance transparency in land records maintenance system.

It has been three years since the digitsation under DILRMP was undertaken and Patwaris from all revenue halqas of all districts of Jammu and Kashmir have been found wanting to execute the process, first time in the past 80 years.

Financial Commissioner Revenue, Pawan Kotwal acknowledged that the last documentation was carried out 1889 when Sir Walter Lawrence was appointed to carry settlement operations.

Later, in 1906, the authorities completed Tarmeem Awal followed by Tarmeen Sani in 1919. In 1999 the process of Badobast Jadeed was initiated.

Kotwal said it was after 80 years that record of rights was being incorporated in the process of Jamabandi. He said directions would be issued to all the Deputy Commissioners to hold the transfer in cases where patwaris require next few months to complete the digital rectifications process. He said transfers are made in the interest of public and for smooth functioning of administration.

The process to update record of rights or revision include updatation of Jamabandi, changes reflected in Girdawari, update Sajra Nasab Malikan, define or delineate Hadbast of village, prepare chumanda (rough sketch) and Khatooni.