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GIS a boon to LIS

Kuldip Rai Joint Secretary, Government of India, Department of Land Resources

GIS a boon to LIS

Kuldip Rai, Joint Secretary to Governemnt of India, Department of LAnd Resources discusses about the status, initiatives and future of LIS in India

  • What is the status of land records in India?
    The present system of preparing and maintaining land records originated from Moghul period and reached its scientific form during the British rule. All the subsequent efforts are largely revisional with de novo preparations combined by newly accredited areas on the basis of existing laws and rules. Maps depicting land parcels are now required to be updated every thirty years through the process of survey and settlement operations. A majority of States have not done any survey after independence. Hence updation of records has suffered and they no longer represent ground realities.
  • What are the plans of Government of India to update the records?
    The Government of India has taken major initiative for the computerization of land records. The centrally sponsored scheme was started in 1988-89 with 100% financial assistance in selected 8 districts in 8 states. At present, the scheme is being implemented in 544 districts of the country leaving only those where there are no land records. Five projects, viz. Sonitpur in Assam, Gulbarga in Karnataka, Morena in Madhya Pradesh, Rewari in Haryana and Burdwan in West Bengal have already been completed where computerized Records of Rights are being issued to land owners. In about 100 districts, data entry and data validation work is nearing completion.
  • What are factors responsible for the delay in implementation of this scheme?
    Major factors responsible for delay are delay in transfer of funds to the implementing authority by the state governments, lack of proper infrastructure such as computers, rooms with AC, non-availability of appropriate software and lack proper training to revenue officials to handle computers.
  • What is the role of modern technology such as GIS and GPS in developing Land Information Systems?
    The incorporation of GIS in LIS will definitely be a boon. The GIS will comprise digital cadastral maps linked with parcel information of landowners, which could be in ORACLE or some other appropriate RDBMS. We should start incorporating geo-coordinates so that all maps can be mosaiced together to form district/state maps and later to a map of the country, either by using GPS or with the help of aerial photography. This can be done with the help of Survey of India.
  • What may be role of private sector in government initiatives regarding Land Information Systems?
    Private sector can play a very important role in LIS. Industry may be involved to impart training and provide latest technology to improve the existing land record system. We propose to organise various training programmes and workshops in the field of LIS.