Land is an imperative resource, which is always in limited supply. In light of this fact, maintenance of land records and the availability of easily accessible land information is one of the most significant challenges of the governance today. The term "Land Records" itself is a very broad term, which can include records such as, the Register of lands, Records of Rights (RoRs), mutation register, disputed cases register, tenancy and crop inspection register etc. It can also include information related to the geology of the land such as shape, size, soil-type of the land; and economic information related to irrigation and crops. Earlier, the Department of Land Reforms (DoLR) Division under Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), was implementing two Centrally Sponsored Schemes viz.: Computerisation of Land Records (CLR) and Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updating of Land Records (SRA&ULR). Later on 21.8.2008, after the Cabinet approval these two schemes were merged under the one single scheme called National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP).
The project is aimed at completion of computerization of the Records of Rights (RoRs), digitization of maps and updating of land records, maintenance of agriculture and land related databases, survey/resurvey using modern technology including aerial photogrammetry etc. The main components of the project are as follows:
- Computerization of land records:
a. Data entry/re-entry/data conversion of all textual records including mutation records and other land attributes data
b. Digitization of cadastral maps
c. Integration of textual and spatial data
d. Tehsil, sub-division/district Computer centres
e. State-level data centres
f. Inter-connectivity among revenue offices
- Survey/resurvey and updating of the survey & settlement records (including ground control network and ground truthing) using the following modern technology options:
a. Pure ground method using Total Station (TS) and Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS)
b. Hybrid methodology using aerial photography and ground truthing by TS and DGPS
c. High Resolution Satellite Imagery (HRSI) and ground truthing by TS and DGPS.
- Computerization of Registration:
a. Computerization of the sub-registrar’s offices (SROs)
b. Data entry of valuation details
c. Data entry of legacy encumbrance data
d. Scanning & preservation of old documents
e. Connectivity of SROs with revenue offices
- Modern record rooms/land records management centres at tehsil/taluk/circle/block level
- Training & capacity building
With financial and technical supports from GoI, the State Governments/UT Administrations will implement the programme. If some critical gaps in technological resources exist, they will be outsourced, and the States/UTs may go for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models in the non-sensitive areas.
The district will be taken as the unit of implementation, where all activities under the programme will converge. It has been decided to cover the entire country by the 12th Plan period. However, the States/UTs which wish to complete the work earlier can do so.
Initial funding will be provided to the States/UTs based on their eight-year perspective plan and Annual Plan for the first year. Thereafter, all sanctions will be done on the basis of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) prepared by the States/UTs in the prescribed performa in Part-C-MIS. Funding will be conditional upon the States/UTs signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the DoLR and following its stipulations.
States/UTs must identify a Nodal Department for implementing the NLRMP. This Department must, in turn, put in place a Programme Management Unit (PMU) in the charge of an officer not below the rank of Secretary, to oversee the NLRMP in its entirety. The PMU would ensure coordination among all concerned Departments, as well as among the various units of the implementing Departments.
At the village level, Gram Panchayats will play a significant role in updation of land records and identification of property owners in the course of the settlement operations. On the other hand, the Gram Sabha could be involved to facilitate survey/re-survey of land. The States/UTs can think of giving the power of doing undisputed mutations to the Gram Panchayats. Where GPs are involved in carrying out undisputed mutations, interconnectivity with tehsils may be worked out by the States/UTs with their own funds or by dovetailing funds from other sources. The District Monitoring and Review Committee, of which the CEO/EO of Zila Parishad is also a member, may give due weightage to the recommendations of the PRIs in the implementation of the Programme.
The necessary technical guidance and hand-holding support to the States/UTs and the implementing agencies shall be arranged through the Core Technical Advisory Group created for the NLRMP in the DoLR with members from the National-level Technical Agencies such as the NIC, C-DAC, Survey of India, NRSC, ISRO, Forest Survey of India, Soil & Land Use Survey of India, and experts in the field.
To monitor the whole project and for generating the feedback, the DoLR will get the parallel and terminal assessment of the Programme carried out through reputed organizations such as the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), State Administrative Training Institutes (ATIs), etc. The States/UTs will also carry out evaluation and impact assessment through in-house teams/experts.
NLRMP MMP is being implemented as a Centrally-sponsored scheme therefore; the major part of its funding comes from the GoI. The Detailed Guidelines, Technical Manuals, formats for Management Information System (MIS), Annual Action Plan/Detailed Project Report and State Perspective Plan have been prepared and circulated to the States and UTs for implementation, monitoring and effective management of the programme. Funds have been provided to National Informatics Center Services Inc. (NICSI) for development of requisite software for making the MIS online.
Examples of Land Record Management Systems in States:
Various Integrated Land Management schemes are now in practice at the State Level across India. In Gujarat, e-Dhara project is implemented by the Revenue Department, to facilitate access and preservation of Village Land Records in a trouble-free transparent and safe manner. The project proposes for setting up of e-Dhara Kendras (e-DKs) for accessing and updating of Land Records such as Record of Rights (RoR) and mutations in a scalable manner.
Haryana Land Records Information System or HALRIS is an inclusive Integrated Workflow Automation system of Land Record components. HALRIS provides a single Window Interface for Deed Writing, Jamabandi, Registration, Mutation, and copy of ROR. The 6917 Jamabandies that are available have been validated by Patwaries and made on-line after mutations have been incorporated in them. Efforts are on for the establishment of HALRIS centres in all the 112 Tehsils and Subtehsils of the state.
Another project “BHUINYAN” is being implemented in Chhattisgarh state. As a part of GIS, all the land records have been digitized in Chhattisgarh. In an unparallel exercise, more than 20,000 villages have been covered and more than 48,000 topographic sheets have been digitised.
In Punjab, Department of Revenue has taken up the Integrated Computerization of Land Records Management System and Registration of Documents. The project includes automation of the process covers, change of ownership (Mutation), Crop updation (Girdawari), modification of field maps, and updation of record of rights (Jamabandi). Pilot implementation off the project at district Kapurthala has been completed. An e-Patwari centre has been established at Pholriwal, Jalandhar for issuing nakals of Land Records.
In Rajasthan, The Land Management System has been successfully implemented in 247 Tehsils covering 42,665 villages. The copies of Records of Rights or RoR are being issued from Tehsil Computer Centre (Apna Khata Center) and also from each District Data Centre. The manual preparation of the New Chausala for land has been completely discontinued. The computer generated Chausala are being used by the Patwari in the field. At District level, the authorized copies of RoR are also being issued from District Data Center. Operational trainings have been provided to more than 3500 revenue officials for smooth execution of the project.
In Karnataka, Bhoomi Project incorporates process of regular mutation and updation of land records to ensure that the RTCs provided to the farmers is in sync with the times. The complete workflow has been automated and secured by using various security mechanisms. The manual issuance of RTC in all 177 taluks has been stopped and legal sanctity is accorded to these RoRs.
In Tripura, Land Records Project started in the year 1992 with one pilot district of North Tripura. Data entry software in Unix and FoxBASE as backend was used. In the year 2000, the NIC Tripura converted the software in Windows platform using VB6.00 and Access97 as backend and completed the 95% of Data entry for the entire state. Land Records Software (Jami) was further enhanced in Client Server Architecture to handle various services. For now, eight revenue circles are taken up for computerization of land records. Data entry of Record of Rights has been completed for 860 Rev-villages out of 874. 98% of the data entry of Record of Rights centrally started in the Directorate of Land Records and Settlement has been completed. Data entry in 14 moujas will be completed after completions of ongoing revisional survey work.
In Himachal Pradesh, the HimRis software has been introduced as an extricable linkage to the computerization of the land records. The system has been implemented in nine tehsils of Shimla and Solan district.