PML-N working on abolishing patwari culture

Map of Punjab with Rawalpindi District highlighted

Map of Punjab with Rawalpindi District highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RAWALPINDI, June 16: Imran Khan’s repeated promises with his supporters to do away with patwari culture if his party comes to power seem to be fulfilled by his rival PML-N as Punjab government has intensified efforts to computerise land record.

Despite many hiccups in the first-ever step to get land record computerised, revenue authorities have succeeded in scanning jamabandi (periodical record) in Rawalpindi while ‘high tech hub’ is all set to be established where land owners would directly get their required land files instead of approaching patwaris.

“We have already scanned jamabandi for computerisation and now we are working on scanning fard, mozas, and other land record. The big issue is to collect old record that has either burnt to ashes or is missing but we will compile it by hook or by
crook,” Additional District Collector General (ADC-G) Saif Anwer Jappa told Dawn on Saturday.The Punjab government has directed the DCOs to hold regular meetings and get the land record computerised at the earliest and once all the record is computerised, a service center will be established where land owners would get their required land documents in a click.

The role of patwari would come to an end as his power in transfer and sale or purchase of land would be replaced by
computerised data that would be run by high-ranking revenue officials.

However, according to revenue officials, the patwaris would continue to work and would recover the money of stamp duty,
transfer fee and other duties assigned to them by the land collectors.

Out of the total seven tehsils in Rawalpindi district, the city tehsil has 115 patwaris besides three magistrates and according to Mr Jappa, all patwaris would have no direct dealing with land owners once the record was computerised.

Political experts saw the efforts on land computerisation as an attempt by PML-N to give relief to masses from the patwari culture at a time when PTI Chairman Imran Khan was continuously criticising their role in land-related matters.

However, in Rawalpindi, the land computerisation is a big challenge for authorities as over 54 mozas are still disputed between Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Rawalpindi authorities.

However, Mr Jappa claimed the ICT had been officially asked to decide about the 54 mozas as these disputed areas were causing hurdles in scanning of the land record.—Inamullah Khattak