The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), one of the largest land-owning agencies in the capital, has started the process of preserving its land records through digitisation and real-time mapping using satellite imagery. The digitisation of records, many of which date back to 1911, are likely to be completed by the year-end.
The continued encroachment of DDA land and the worsening condition of land records, some of which were drawn up on cloth, prompted it to take up the exercise.
Once the process is completed, it will also entail a change in the role of patwaris, who have so far been the keepers of these records.
“With all relevant data regarding land records being made available online, we will have to change the qualifications required for our field staff such as patwaris, tehsildars, etc. For instance, the education qualification for a patwari will be changed from matriculation to graduate with working knowledge of computers. In-house training will be given so that they are able to handle the work in a digital environment,’’ DDA vice-chairman Balwinder Kumar said, adding that patwaris already employed with the DDA will also have to undergo computer training.
According to the DDA, it has about 79,000 acres under its jurisdiction, of which about 1,500 acres have been encroached upon. “The new technology will help us protect the land under our jurisdiction. Lack of proper records has led to disputes and court cases being stretched for years due to lack of proper demarcation of khasras,’’ Kumar said.
The system of khasras, which is used for maintaining land records in the country, is not a very scientific one. “Many of these records are in Urdu and difficult to understand. Moreover, the lack of precision of such records has forced us to rely on our field staff for clarity,’’ a DDA official said.
The DDA land comprises 240 villages. “The process of updating our records began in 2005. A total of 160 such records have been digitised. In many cases, this had entailed the reconstruction of records. We are digitising each sizra or khasra and massavi (dimension) of villages after collecting details from the Revenue department,’’ Kumar said.
Work is being assigned to Geo-Spatial Delhi Limited to digitise and make geo-referencing maps for revenue estates under the control of DDA. “This work is also being carried out by Delhi government but they refuse to share data with us. So we have taken up geo-referencing of these maps at our end as well. It will eventually help provide layers of details about land in Delhi,’’ the official said.
All these information will be made available online, officials said. “Information about its ownership or change in ownership or dimensions and coordinates will be available through a click of a button. While the work to digitise records is likely to be completed by the year-end, the availability of year-wise satellite imagery of these records might take longer,’’ the official said.