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Computerisation of urban land records- Case study for city survey land records of Ahmedabad district, Gujarat state

Rakesh Halari
Project Manager
Unit of Suryanagari Fin Lease Ltd.
3rd Floor, Blue Star Complex,
Nr. Old High Court Rly. Crossing
Navjivan P O, Ahmedabad 380014
Tel. 079-643 0928, 643 1464 (O), 656 8044 (R)

In India, even after 50 years of independence, Land Reforms are still under infancy in most states. Gujarat State has a little better status over some of the other states, since every sq. inch of land in Gujarat is surveyed. Land Records are prepared scientifically and stored within a well-defined system.

Over a period of time, struggle for 1 sq. m. land in urban areas leads to Civil Court cases. Number of such cases has flooded all courts and so there is an urgency of an established Land Information System. It has been observed that the focus of Land Information System has been over Cadastral Revenue Records computerization. An approach for computerization of Urban Land Records i.e. Cities/Towns which includes the Property ownership & other attribute information, spatial scope of the property, maintenance of the spatial & tabular database, is still in infancy.

In earlier years, each king/emperor had limited land and limited purpose for assessment of tax and a very limited purpose of maintenance of title. Survey operations were held reports were produced and stored on man-made Paper.

Now, Land Records have turned to be highly dynamic. Thus, they require efficient and better methods/means of Record Storage, Retrieval & maintenance. In terms of Land Records Department, Records consist of Original measurement sheets, city maps, gunakar books, inquiry register, property card, sanad, tenure abstracts, mutation register, receipt on payment, advance payment receipt, notice for right omission, challan, challan register, permanent revenue abstracts, miscellaneous revenue, local cess, reconciliation, etc. But with the changing times, complexities of data available have risen and hence a need of Computerization of Land Records has been felt. In case of Village Cadastral Records of Revenue fields, records my change once over a period of 2-3 years. Hence, updating Land Records is not so difficult. But in Cities, Records are relatively more dynamic and the cost of Land is a major issue. Cost of 1 sq. m. land in cities may range from Rs. 500 to Rs. 10,000 depending upon the localities and landscape, whereas in case of Villages, 1 Acre of land may range from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 5,000.

So there is an urgent need, higher priority and emergency for modernization of Land Records in cities/towns. Information Technology can address all needs of the Land Record modernization in a planned manner with highest level of transparency in the system for monitoring and maintaining ever-changing Urban Land Records. Development of Urban Land Information & Management System is the need of the hour for effective implementation of Urban development programmes.

Land Records Information System (LaRIS), is a regional customized LIS package for use by agencies responsible for monitoring & implementing development & Planning Land Records of a city/town i.e. City Survey Office, Town Planning Office, Urban Development Authority, Municipal Corporation etc.

All the cities are surveyed by Govt. Surveyors and the information is stored under the surveillance of City Survey Superintendent (CSS), who is also responsible for updating, maintaining and managing city survey records. Cities are further segmented into Wards for ease of administration.

Entire problem was divided into various modules :
  1. Computerization of existing City Survey Data (Spatial & Ownership).
  2. Methods for maintenance & reproduction/reprint of City Survey Data on the basis of change taking place.
  3. Scope of entering extensions of existing Cities and fresh surveyed City Survey data of new Cities.
  4. Computerization of City Survey Accounts.
  5. Creation of City-Wise, Taluka/Mandal-wise, District-wise Reports of revenue paid and pending.
  6. Query & Analysis of City Survey Ownership Attribute data for planning & development of City.
  7. Providing City Survey Records over Government Intranet using Client-Server Architecture.
  8. Indianizing the Software by creating User Interface in Gujarati (regional Indian language) for ease of operation.
  9. Export Spatial data from LaRIS to any GIS package (AutoCAD Map, ARC/INFO, GeoMedia etc.)
  10. Do not just sign, eSign Land Records with Date/Time stamp.

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