Parcel based information is required in a wide variety of activities. Frequent users range from existing or prospective landowners to lawyers, surveyors, valuers, real-estate managers, and agencies at all levels of Government. During the recent past, the demand for this information has expanded. This has extended the applications of existing parcel-based information systems and created the need for new ones. Some of these changes have arisen because of :
- a need for more efficient handling of land title documents to provide greater security of tenure for those in occupation of land and to keep pace with the greater demand for reconveyancing .
- a rise in property values, and a need for better support for mortgaging and investment
- a steady increase in the number of private and public users who make routine enquiries about land ownership
- growing concern about the quality of the environment
- greater attention which has been paid to physical planning and to land development programmes, which in turn has resulted in a growth in the number of users and the variety of uses of cadastral information
- specific land planning and management problems which have arisen in certain areas, such as the need to protect agricultural land around the edges of cities. In many third world countries the greatest pressure on the land is the urban fringe.
In a more sophisticated system, however, there will be elements of high technology applied to data storage, processing and communications. The advantages of automation include:
Land Records –Past History
- the physical compaction of data, so that less storage space is required
- easier handling and updation, allowing for much more efficient and effective analysis
- the possibility of merging graphic and attribute data in one set of operations
- the integration of databases so that different data sets can be merged and processed together for better and effective analysis
- ensuring the safety of data through the usage of non-erasable optical storage devices like compact disk-read only memory (CD_ROM) devices
- easier and faster data transfer through the latest technology associated with the computer and communication.
It has been universally accepted principle that the rulers of the State are entitled to a portion of the produce of the land from those who utilize it as a price for the protection of their life and property and also to meet the common expenses of the community. It is this concept of collection of revenue that necessitated the maintenance of land records, although in a rudimentary form, in ancient times. The Arthsastra is the first Indian work to mention of the village officers known as “gopa” whose duties include preparation of various registers for the village fields, transfers, due taxes, etc. Attempt to reform the system were first made by Sher Shah whereby land was categorized, measured and a schedule of crop rates fixed. This was further developed during the regime of Akbar, who with the assistance of Raja Todar Mal, fixed cash rates on a more scientific and rational basis. Elaborate Methods were devised for determining the average produce of each class of land and for commuting grain rates into money rates. In fact Akbars’s settlement widely resembles the later settlement effected under British rule. Subsequently during 1822 regulations were introduced for detailed surveys and regulations.
The primary interest of the British rulers was the collection of land revenue and consequently the system of land records was also organized to serve that purpose. After Independence considerable importance has been necessaciated for reliable statistics related to crop, irrigation, land use so that they could form the basis of land development of the country. It in turn helped in strengthening the land records development process.All these situation helped in development of the present day land records system. In any land records a number of records are prescribed to be, maintained at the village, tehsil and district levels and statements of land holdings, land revenue and rental cropped areas, land use pattern. There are more then 20 registers that are being maintained by Revenue Department. The number of registers again varies from State to State.
The principal records being maintained are as follows:
Computerisation of Land Records –A present scenario
- Village map: A pictorial form showing the village and field boundaries.
- Field books or khasra which is an index to the map, in which changes in the field boundaries, their area, particulars of tenure-holders, methods of Irrigation, cropped area, other uses of land etc. are shown.
- Records of Right also know as khatouni, in which the names and classes of tenure of all occupants of land are recorded.
Since First Plan, Planners have been advocating proper maintenance of land records as the basis of good administration. This was reiterated in the second plan and Third Plans. The sixth plan has envisaged the complementation and updation of land records from 1980 to 1985. According to seventh plan document, “Land records form the base for all land reform measures and therefore, regular periodic updating of land records is essential in all states.” The eighth plan(1992-1997) and the Ninth Plan(1997-2002) have also envisaged the fulfillment of all five-year principles of National Land Reforms Policies, that is the abolition of intermediaries, tenancy reforms with security to actual cultivators, redistribution of ceiling, surplus land consolidation of holdings and updation of land records. Subsequently in 73rd Amendment to the constitution mentions that computerization of land records is an essential step to achieve decentralized planning and effective administration.
Subsequently during 1988-99 centrally –sponsored scheme on computerization of land records was started with 100% financial assistance as a pilot project in eight states.(RangaReddy in AP, Mayurbhanj in Orissa, Sonitpur in Assam, Singhbhum in Bihar, Wardha in Maharastra, Dungarpur in Rajasthan and Gandhinagar in Gujarat). Then the scheme was extended to 24 districts of different States. At present the scheme was extended to all the 544 districts in the country. During 97-98 it was decided to cover 1400 tehsils/taluks under the land records computerization scheme.
The scheme is being implemented since 1994-1995 by MRD in collaboration with NIC where in NIC is responsible for the supply, installation of hardware, software and maintenance of peripherals.
In all the State LRC project was started with basically data entry of khasra and khatoni with the help of file based database software supported by the unix operation system which was the operating system of the time. The customized data entry screens were developed for entering the raw attribute data in to a database. Then the complete village wise khatoni and khasra repots were generated through the report generation modules. The basic feature the software used that time was the capability of data entry in local language. The CDAC’s GIST technology was used to achieve multilingual data entry from unix dumb terminals.