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January 1, 2015

Land record couldn’t be computerised in 2014


January 1, 2015

THE dream of completing a historical World Bank funded land record computerisation project could not come true in the year 2014 despite tall claims made by Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif in the said context.
The first deadline to complete the historical project was set for June 2014 and later December 2014 by the CM but computerisation of the land record could only be completed in 20 districts including Kasur, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Nankana Sahib, Jhang, Jhelum, Lodhran, and Lahore out of total 36 districts of the province.
Similarly, around 12,500 muzaz out of total 23,000 were computerised in the year 2014 in comparison with 2,500 muzaz which were completed in the year 2013. Besides this, Arazi Record Centres have also been established in 143 tehsils of the province during 2014 to provide further benefit to the masses. Now the project is expected to be completed by June 2015.
In those districts where the new system has started working, any citizen can get the record of his piece of land in just 30 minutes while transfer record can be made available within 50 minutes only. The computerisation of land record has also made the process of getting ‘Fard’ more friendly and the legal fee of Fard has also been reduced to Rs 150.
It is expected that when this modern system became fully functional in all the districts of the province, the culture of corruption, bribery and forgery in the matters related to land would be eliminated and the people would get rid of exploitative system of Patwaris and Tehsildars.
Due to computerisation of land record, the threat of theft and loss of documents in fire or flood will also be minimised.
It is pertinent to mention here that the project ‘Land Record Computerisation’ was initiated by Ch Pervaiz Elahi as a pilot project.
The aim of the project was to get rid the province of corrupt practices and irregularities of Patwaris and other revenue officers. The

project moved ahead very slowly every year.
Designed by the Project Management Unit, the project was recommended to the World Bank Board for funding in 2006 and subsequently the Project Financing Agreement was signed on February 28, 2007.
During the previous era of incumbent PML-N’s provincial government, nothing tangible work could be done on the project and the project was delayed further mainly because of delay in the software development and selection process which was expected to be completed by the end of 2008.
Similarly, implementation of the project in four districts of the province, to be initiated in 2009, got delayed. After the software development, the work on computerising the land record got underway in the Punjab to facilitate more than 20 million land owners of the province.
To expand the Land Record Management Information Systems project in the entire Punjab by CM Shahbaz Sharif was the other reason for the delay in the completion of the project as initially the project was to be implemented in only half of the districts of the province.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif presided over a high level meeting on Wednesday which reviewed in detail the progress of the Land Record Management Information System.
According to a handout issued on Wednesday, addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that the land record computerisation service centres had been made operational in all the 143 tehsils of the province. He said through the computerisation of land record issuance of proprietary deed had been ensured within 30 minutes which would provide substantial relief to citizens as well as rid them of obsolete Patwar Culture.
He said the computerisation of land record had been completed in 20 districts and online system at 92 service centres had been linked with a consolidated system. He further said the process of Google mapping with regard to land had been completed in three districts.
The CM directed that the programme of Google mapping of the land be extended to the whole province and an effective awareness campaign be initiated regarding the importance of the project.
He appreciated institutions and authorities concerned over a speedy progress on the project and said it was a public welfare project which would directly benefit the masses. The chief minister issued instructions for setting up a steering committee to be headed by Member Punjab Assembly Rana Sana Ullah and directed that the committee should submit recommendations within seven days after reviewing matters pertaining to the launching of the project of computerisation of urban land record, restriction on consolidation, setting up of an authority with regard to permanent monitoring of the Land Record Management Information System and other matters.
The chairman planning and development gave a detailed briefing on the pace of the project. Provincial Minister for Law Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Assembly Members Najaf Abbas Sial, Rana Sana Ullah, Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Qamar-ul-Islam, chief secretary, senior member, board of revenue, chairman planning and development and officers concerned were also present.

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