TAXILA: The first-ever computerised Land Record Management and Information System (LRMIS) centre in Taxila became operational on Wednesday and started issuing digital land data to owners of three different areas in the tehsil.
The LRMIS centre is a project undertaken by the Punjab government through the assistance of World Bank for the computerisation of land records. The project aims at facilitating easy access to land records with lower transaction cost for citizens.
The computerisation of land records also aims at curtailing the widespread tampering of land records and ensuring transparency in deals.
Assistant Commissioner Shahid Imran, while talking to newsmen said all land records of the entire tehsil would be digitized which would help people get rid of the ‘corrupt land mafia’. It would also ensure convenience in transferring properties and getting revenue documents, he added.He said people would obtain fard possession and other relevant documents and details of a property within 30 minutes without having to endure any ill-treatment from patwaris (revenue officials).
“Also, transfer of a property (with verification) can be done within 50 minutes,” he said.
Responding a question, he said the most important objective of the project was to improve land record services in the area.
While talking to newsmen, Mohammad Usman, the incharge of LRMIS centre Taxila, said the digital land record system would put an end to the patwari system and the ‘plunder of the land mafia’.
Responding a question, he said the system would initially focus on computer based land records which would result in an efficient and transparent system for maintaining records. He added that during this first phase, linkages will be tested and proven between the land records and the system of registration.
He added that the land record centre would work on computerised systems and the related rights of agricultural lands will also be protected.
“The project’s success will be assessed by client satisfaction with the new system in terms of access to records and increased level of tenure security. In addition, we will measure improvement in services such as reduced time and removal of illegal gratification by revenue officials,” he said.
He added that although the project aimed at benefiting the entire community of landowners, the underprivileged and marginal groups that are penalised by the existing land record system will be targeted.
Malik Tahir Suleman, a local farmer, while talking to Dawn said despite being low-level functionaries of revenue department, patwaris played a key role in assessing agricultural income, collecting revenue, recording inheritance, sale and transfer of land and maintaining all land records in their area of jurisdiction.
He added that computerisation of the records could eliminate their (patwari’s) monopoly and their ability to distort facts.
Similarly Asim Meer, the president of local NGO, said computerisation of land records was imperative as the database with central repository ensured efficacy of revenue records.
“It enhances the value of properties and also protects the property rights of people. Computerisation would not only help get rid of corruption in revenue department but relieve people from the patwari culture,” he added.