Saturday, June 25, 2011

Land transactions to go online in Karnataka

Five of the 42 sub-registrars in greater Bangalore to start online registration
Documents pertaining to land records of about 1.21 lakh have been ‘corrected'

Tumkur: Karnataka, which pioneered the digitisation of land records in the country through the Bhoomi platform, initiated the first step towards enabling citizens to conduct the registration process online on Friday.
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Bhoomi, the digital repository of agricultural land records, Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy unveiled the synchronisation of the platform with Kaveri, the software platform that enables registration of sale of land in Tumkur.
The automation of the mutation process — the process of tracking the history of the sale of a particular piece of land that is identified by a unique Survey Number — will result in greater transparency and reduce the scope for “discretion by government officials,” Mr. Reddy said. “This is a turning point because it will also eliminate touts and middlemen who currently fleece property buyers,” he added.
Mr. Reddy, who travelled by bus with mediapersons from Bangalore to Tumkur, said starting in mid-August five of the 42 sub-registrars in greater Bangalore area would start the process of online registration.
Mr. Reddy said documents pertaining to land records of about 1.21 lakh have been “corrected” for minor errors in the last two years. “This has been a huge relief for farmers,” he said.
A meeting of department officials and other senior officials of other departments held about two weeks ago discussed the suggestion that a “land audit” be conducted to make an accurate estimate of land required for industrial projects, Mr. Reddy said. “A six-million-tonne steel plant in China requires only about 600 acres, so why should investors need much more here?” he asked. Rajeev Chawla, Secretary, Revenue Department, said about two crore records pertaining to land ownership have been built on the Bhoomi platform.

Karnataka farmers will receive SMS alert on progress of land transaction

When 35-year-old Gowramma gave her thumb impression for the online registration of her land in the sub-registrar office of Tumkur on Friday, Karnataka stepped into another chapter in e-governance. Afterwards, Gowramma received an SMS alert on her mobile phone from the revenue department stating that her land transaction deal has gone through.

This happened after the revenue department launched its online integration of Bhoomi (online delivery of rural land records) and Kaveri (Karnataka valuation and e-registration) software on Friday. The project was initiated by revenue minister G Karunakara Reddy in Tumkur. The integration is now done in 25 taluks in phase I and will gradually be extended to all 176 taluks across the state. The integration is aimed at reducing the hardships for farmers.

“The sale transactions will now take place only if the land is identified with a specific survey number. The name of the seller and the extent of transaction will be made available on a database, which the farmers will have access to. This will ensure that there will no fraudulent or bogus transactions in the future,” said the revenue minister.

Once the sale is done, Bhoomi will start mutation process almost on the same day without any data entry of sale transactions, officials said.

“The manual data entry and procedures with the present system takes a lot of time, and the integration system would reduce time consumption by 50%,” said secretary of revenue department (Bhoomi and UPOR) Rajeev Chawla. Now farmers will get an SMS alert in both English and Kannada on all stages of the mutation process.

“All these days, farmers were running from pillar to post to know the status. Now, an SMS alert will be sent to farmers whenever a land transaction is initiated,” he said.

The farmers have to register their mobile numbers with the revenue department or taluk office. Congress leader and MLA from Shira in Tumkur, TB Jayachandra, said that the department should also concentrate on resolving existing problems with the Bhoomi system.

“There are many errors in land records, which the farmers are fed up with. This needs to be addressed,” he said. Reddy said that there was a shortage of surveyors in the state, which is hampering the land transactions. “We will soon recruit 2,000 surveyors to resolve the issue,” he said.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Collector's Daughter attends Village School

In Tamil Nadu govt school where poor kids go, a new face: The Collector’s daughter

Gopu Mohan Posted online: Sun Jun 19 2011, 09:23 hrs
Chennai : Sitting cross-legged on the floor with her classmates, six-year-old Gopika, a student of Class II, slowly traces alphabets on a slate, unaware of the attention she is drawing. She is a new student at the Panchayat Union primary school in Erode, the district where her father is the new Collector.Dr R Anandakumar, the young Collector of this backward district in west Tamil Nadu, enrolled his child in the Tamil-medium government primary school at Kumalankuttai, setting an example for those in the government to patronise the services they deliver to the public.
Last Wednesday, when schools across the state reopened after the summer vacations, headmistress S Rani was poring over admission papers after the morning prayers.
“It was a hectic hour. Many parents were waiting outside to enrol their children. Someone noticed the attire worn by the duffedar (attender) and informed me. To our great surprise, standing in the queue along with other parents was the Collector, his wife M Srividya and daughter.”
His presence created a stir — some teachers thought he was there on an inspection. “We did not expect the Collector to admit his daughter here,” admitted Rani. The district has 1,500 schools including three Central institutions and several private ones.
Of the nearly 250 students in Classes I to V of the school, there are no children of government officials. Even teachers of the school don’t send their children to this Tamil-medium school. Most students there hail from poor families, mostly children of dyeing unit workers, auto drivers, daily wage labourers and weavers who need the free noon meal, uniform and textbooks.
Anandakumar refused to comment, maintaining it was a personal decision, though its impact was felt by the school as a whole.
As soon as it was known that his daughter was studying there, officials of Veerappanchatram Panchayat inspected the school to ensure that it had all basic facilities in place.
For those who know him, Anandakumar’s decision was not surprising. Having studied at a government Tamil-medium school himself, he went on to complete Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the Veterinary College and Research Institute in Namakkal district, and obtained his Master’s degree from the Central Avian Research Institute near Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
A university gold medallist, Anandakumar started his career as an Assistant Veterinary Surgeon before joining the civil services. He also received a silver medal for land reforms while on training as Assistant Collector in Pudukkottai.