Bhoomi To Change Karnatakas Urban Landscape

Bangalore: | Updated: Dec 19 2002, 05:30am hrs
The globally acclaimed rural e-governance initiative of Karnatakathe Bhoomi projectis all set to step out from its idyllic rural habitat to the hustle and bustle of the states urban landscape. The state government has given a green signal to the revenue department to digitise the urban land records based on the Bhoomi format.

Bhoomi project had digitised 20 million rural land revenue records, covering nearly 6.7 million people in the state.

The move to take the programme to the urban areas will have far-reaching implications for the whole gamut of urban property holdings.

The project will be rolled out from Mysore and Hubli towns. The initiative described by state chief minister SM Krishna as reverse flow of technology from rural to urban would enable the people in urban areas in the state to get a land/flat ownership document from a kiosk for a payment of Rs 15 per copy.

Talking to eFE, state additional secretary (revenue) Rajeev Chawla, the person behind the Bhoomi project said that work on the Mysore and Hubli towns would be completed by March. The whole urban landscape of the state comprising 170 to 176 towns including Bangalore will be completed in the next 12 to 18 months, he added.

As in the case of rural land revenue records, the state government is expected to make the necessary changes to provide legal sanctity for the digital documents.

Some other changesbasically of procedural and administrative naturealso needed to be done by the government. I hope these things will fall in place as we proceed with the programme, Mr Chawla said.

Mr Chawla said that the Urban Bhoomi document could also be developed into a multi-purpose document as in the case of rural land revenue digitisation programme.

The rural programme had shown that spin-off effect could provide information such as crop details, disposable income etc.

Bhoomi, which had won the silver medal in Commonwealth Association of Public Administration (CAPM) recently, has been selected as the role model for land revenue digitisation programme for the whole country by the Union information technology ministry. IT minister Pramod Mahajan had convened a meeting of the revenue and IT secretaries from all the states and Union territories and had said that Centre would provide Rs 1 crore to one district in each state to replicate the Bhoomi project.

Mr Mahajan had also written to Mr Krishna, seeking his cooperation in getting the expertise from the Karnataka Bhoomi team for other states. Mr Mahajan had set a time limit of 12 months for the roll-out of the project in other parts of the country.

Mr Chawla said that instead of Karnataka Bhoomi team visiting each and every state or teams from every state visiting Karnataka, a set of common consultants will be trained by the Karnataka team so that they could undertake the projects in different states.

The core of the programme will remain the same and consultants need only to adjust to regional variations at the operational level. The minister was quite emphatic that if any change to the core Bhoomi project was introduced, the project will not be eligible for the Rs-1 crore financial assistance, Mr Chawla said.