CIC urges States to put information on land records in public domain

Chief Information Commissioner Radha Krishna Mathur has urged State Governments to put out information on land records in the public domain.
Addressing a seminar on “Land Records and Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005” here yesterday, Mr Mathur said that almost half of the RTI queries received by the State Information Commissions related to land records.
“Land Resources primarily being a State subject, it is incumbent upon the State Governments to put out information on land records in the public domain,” he added.
Land issues are at the heart of administrative India and the majority of crimes in the society are related to land disputes. Digitisation of land records will bring about clarity in land holdings, thereby help reduce criminal cases, cut court cases and also result in huge savings to the public exchequer.
Mr Dinesh Singh, Secretary, Department of Land Resources (DLR), said such records were fundamental to every citizen and affect every individual. An integrated Land Information Management System was under implementation which will serve as a single window database for the various stakeholders such as the land owner(s) and civic agencies and linking this database with the Aadhar number will eventually eliminate benami transactions.
Prof M. Sridhar Acharyulu, Information Commissioner, CIC, said almost 66% court cases in the country are related to land disputes costing a whopping Rs. 58,000 crore in litigation, both civil and criminal. Land records digitisation can help accelerate India’s GDP by as much as 1.3%, he added.
Mr. Hukum Singh Meena, Joint Secretary, DLR, Ministry of Rural Development, said Land Records Modernization Programme has been implemented in 31 States and UTs. The process of integrating Aadhar Number and linking it with the Record of Right (RoR) has been undertaken in five States, he added.
Speakers included Himangshu Sekhar Das, CIC, Assam, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, CIC, Jammu & Kashmir, K. Ramanujam, CIC, Tamil Nadu, Dr. Namita Wahi of the Centre for Policy Research and Founding Director of the Land Rights Initiative, Mridula Singh of The World Bank, Kedar Prasad Burande, Joint Director, Defence Estates, Vikram Singh Chauhan, Special Secretary (Revenue), Rajasthan, snf Dr. C.S. Kumar, Principal Secretary of Revenue & DM Department, Odisha.
The experts included Rahul Matthan, M. Sunil Kumar, Amlanjyoti Goswami, Dr Reshmy Nair, B.H. Veeresha and Baladevan Rangaraju. Information Commissioner, CIC, Yashovardhan Azad, chaired the proceedings.
The seminar was attended by Principal Secretaries/ Secretaries of State Government’s Land Resources/ Revenue Departments, Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners from State Information Commissions and Central Information Commission and some NGOs working in the area of land records.


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