According to the Centre for Policy Research, 66 percent of all civil cases in India are related to land or property disputes. The land is more than just an asset for any nation. Its vulnerability to man-made actions and natural calamities can risk billions of property records. Hence, digitisation of land records is utmost crucial to provide integrated property validation.
Digitisation is a process that has touched and transformed every industry, and Indian real estate has not been an exception. The digital phenomenon has transformed real estate in all aspects. However, it is interesting to note that although the land is a precious commodity in real estate and accounts for major cost component, only a few countries boast of having an electronic public register for real estate. India is leapfrogging in this space, but much more needs to be achieved to address the existing challenges.
Due to the lack of actual land records, many litigations and property scams have been reported in the past. One of the biggest challenges faced has been the land ownership issue which led to prolonged property disputes and court cases.
Acknowledging the requirement for digitisation of land records, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swamitva Scheme, a Central scheme, with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR). The Survey of India will work as the technology partner to implement the scheme that aims to provide an integrated property validation solution for rural India. It includes demarcation of rural abadi areas using a drone survey to give the ‘record of rights’ to property owners. This would enable them to use their property as collateral for taking loans and other financial benefits from banks.
The digitisation of land records also aids in rural planning, determining property tax, creating survey infrastructure and Geographic Information System (GIS) maps. In addition, any department can use it to prepare development plans and reduce property-related disputes and legal cases.
To simplify the traditional system of manually maintained paper-based land records, the web-based location intelligence technology solution has been of immense help and significantly used these days. It overlays property-related information on a cloud-based interface and provides easy access to land records.
Through this open Application Programming Interface (API) based location intelligence technology platform, users can overlay layers of land records ranging from legacy cadastral data to drone imagery for visualising updated land use, such as built-up assets and encroached areas. Besides, it would also help gauge the leased and owned plots on a spatial interface that suits local conditions and land practices. A specialised team of geospatial experts develop the database by spatially contextualising the decades-old land record maps, deed documents and land mutation details, along with high-resolution satellite/aerial imagery details. This database forms the core of the intelligence technology platform, which can store more documents at any given point of time, keeping it ‘up-to-date’, with data spanning decades of timestamps in an easy-to-use interface. Overall, the digitisation of land records in India is utmost crucial and the Government should fast-track the process and launch new ways to achieve this.
Originally published here.
When it comes to achieving a USD 5 trillion economy, a renewed focus on land records and property rights could be a game changer. Scale is something that technology can help with.
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