Friday September 24, 2021

Steering clear of land frauds, Islamabad enters e-regime

February 02, 2020

Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) is counted among the most priced land in the country. Beneath the serene airs and picturesque scenes of this city howl and crawl the ugliest of scavengers to tear apart this asset and distribute it among themselves.

Standing up in their way now is the Islamabad Chief Commissioner, Amer Ali Ahmed. “We will make land grab a thing of the past. The city administration has got down to the task of maintaining all land record of the city. In the second phase, we will digitize it, leaving no room for any fiddling with record,” he told me in an exclusive talk.

“If you look at the science of land grab, you will find that it derives of flaws in maintaining record,” he said.

Cases surface on a daily basis that party X has a claim to a piece of land and party Y do have the same claim, he said. Situation turn weird when both these parties have documents to substantiate these claims, he added.

“We are going to seal this breach in the system once and for all,” he said.

“We are not reinventing the wheel. The system to digitize land record has been implemented in Punjab. We are going to replicate it in Islamabad,” he said.

“Digitisation per se is not a magic wand. It cannot yield results. It will rather earn you embarrassment if record is not maintained properly. It will not work even if only 10 percent of land record is left unmaintained. We understand it and are not going to leave any loophole in the system,” he said.

Revenue is the biggest problem across the country, he said, if someone has to go to a Patwari, they unfortunately are pissed.

There are cases that land record or Jama Bandi has not been done for some pieces of land in Islamabad since 1960.

“We have completed Jama Bandi of 28 villages of Islamabad. Work on the remaining 19 villages is almost complete. In hardly a month or two, we will be through this task,” he said.

“We have installed cameras at revenue offices and biometric system has been introduced there. Image of the deed are now imprinted on the back of the stamp paper,” he said.Women were the worst victims of land frauds because their biometric and images were not taken for multiple fallacies. “We have done away with these frauds through biometric system. Further, within a month or so, e-stamps are being introduced, eliminating the remotest possibility of fraud in land records. These steps will lessen the number of court cases and land disputes,” he said.

“The ICT has deputed four Assistant Commissioners (ACs) to supervise revenue processing. They are educated and young and their services will eventually benefit the masses,” he said.

He said that people will soon be able to see their land record online so that everyone is able to know that person X has solid how much of his land and how much he still owns.

“I cannot make all Patwaris into angels. But I will bind all lose ends so that there is no room for them to maneuver,” he said.

He said Survey of Pakistan has been outsourced the job of mapping out the federal capital, which will resolve boundary disputes with Rawalpindi.

Islamabad city administration has hit a smooth road after constant bumps for a long time. The key to remove these bumps is centrality of command in no-nonsense officer like AA), who at present is the Chief Commissioner of ICT and Chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

— Hassan Shehzad