The state government is rolling out its massive project of satellite mapping land across 40,000 villages across Maharashtra, a move targeted to bring down land related disputes to zero in five years. The whole exercise in three phases is expected to cost Rs 1,600 crore. A detailed note to the ministry of finance also indicates that the project, which would also involve physical measurement of land, would need temporary recruitment of 25,000 people.
Growing number of disputes related to revenue land records (also called 7/12 extracts) had given a fresh impetus to the project. A pilot project had been carried out in Mulshi taluka of Pune.
Once the survey is documented, individuals can source land records online. A senior revenue official said, “Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis issued directives to accord the highest priority to bring down land related disputes in rural Maharashtra to zero in a phased manner.”
The project will be carried out as part of the National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NLRMP) rolled out across states in 2008.
Detailed survey of land has not been carried out for the last 100 years and documents needed to be upgraded. There is also a rise in number of people with land titles.
Shortly after taking charge of the government, Fadnavis had said, “The digitisation of land records would go a long way in bringing clarity in land use and titles, mitigating disputes.”
Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said, “Once the survey is conducted and documented… there would be little room for any individual to challenge the documents as the survey would be meticulously carried out through satellite mapping and physical measurement.”
It would cover 2,40,506 square kms and does not include Mumbai and suburbs. It does not include forest land across 61,273.62 square kms. The urban land area in the state is 5193.29 square km.
Minister of State for Revenue Sanjay Rathod said, “I received several thousand land related complaints in the last nine months. Majority are within joint families, over a few hectares.”
He said, “Over the years, agriculture land use has changed. There was a case where the son-in-law and father-in-law were in dispute over a few acres of land.”
According to Rathod, “The land mapping will help us to carry out fresh surveys and clarify titles and land holdings.”
The state government pilot project in Mulshi taluka in Pune had covered 12 villages across 6,735 hectares. “Individuals whose land holding had decreased after the survey are complaining. But we can convince them with documented images,” Rathod said.