Chennai To Complete Digitisation Of Land Records Within 6 Months
In a major digitisation measure involving a government agency, the registration department of Chennai is set to execute the task of scanning about 50 crore pages of property documents within an ambitious timeline of 180 days. The move is among the many initiatives steered under the umbrella of the central government’s Digital India campaign, which aims at introducing technology and improving online infrastructure to enable citizens access government services digitally.
The department, which initiated digitisation of land documents in 2009, will be scanning property documents dated between the years 1865 and 2008. Once the process is completed, citizens will be able to access old land documents including registered sale deed, property mutations, power of attorney, Khata certificate, etc. at the click of a button, without any hassles.
The digitisation process mainly involves capturing the documents using a scanner and converting them to a digital format which could be stored electronically and accessed by computers. The project will be executed at an estimated cost of Rs 89 crore. The government has sanctioned the amount and also floated a tender for hiring an agency which will implement the project. Already, six bidders have applied for the tender. The scanning process will take place by physically taking the machines to each of the 575 sub-registrar offices across the state. The machines would be engaged round the clock in order to complete the task within a stipulated period of time that is six months.
The registration department has been in operation since 1865 and has stored the property documents in respective sub-registrar offices, with the maximum number of land registrations in Chennai and Coimbatore zones. There are five district registrars in the Chennai zone with as many as 64 sub-registrar offices spanning the city, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts. Coimbatore has five zones covering four districts including Erode, Tirupur and the Nilgiris. Presently, hard copies of documents relating to registration of land are stored in volumes of books.
The need for digitisation
Lack of property maintenance of property records has led to a rise in cases of property scams and litigations majorly including disputes over land ownership. The central government has launched the Digital India Land Records Modernization programme (DILRMP) in August 2008 with the major objective of curbing the rise of property disputes and enhancing transparency in the maintenance of land records, through computerising all land records, digitizing maps, upgrading survey and settlement records.
Digitisation of property documents will provide access to old records and enable anyone, who requires certified copies, to procure documents online rather than visiting the sub-registrar office.