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Tech Savvy Omar Abdullah has failed to computerize land records in 257 Niabats

Tech savvy Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has failed to kick start the gigantic task of computerization of land records despite  having money in his kitty.The recent CAG report tabled in the state assembly has revealed that even after receiving liberal funding  to the tune of Rs 20.56 crore from the central government  for setting up computer centres for computerization of land records in 257 Niabats (Sub Tehsils) of the state the government has failed to implement the scheme.

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After facing initial hiccups over the implementation of the centrally sponsored scheme, when Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took over the charge he held a high level meeting in June 2009 and there in the meeting it was decided to depute officers of the Revenue department to other states for understanding the process for implementation of the scheme of computerization of land records as well as for adoption of the procedure suitable and in consonance  with the geographical conditions of the state. Ironically, none of the officer was deputed, neither any efforts were made to utilize the funds to implement the scheme.

According to the CAG report  a proposal for computerization of land records in 257 sub tehsils of the state at a cost of 20.56 crore was submitted in August 2006 by the state government to the Govt of India. The proposal was drafted on the basis of a pilot project taken up after development of a software for one Niabat Khanmoh in Srinagar tehsil.

CAGCAG stated for this purpose, the GoT in March 2007 released Rs 15.42 crore under the centrally sponsored scheme computerization of land records. The amount was to be spent for creation of infrastructure  of hardware items, server systems, system software, electrical fitting, furniture etc. The amount was credited  in April 2007 to the Bank account of the department by the Financial Commissioner Revenue, J&K.

Audit scrutiny in December 2011 revealed that Rs 15 crore was converted in to fixed deposit as the scheme could not be implemented due to the fact that the department could not identify the sites and establish  basic infrastructure for setting up computer centres at sub-tehsil  offices.The amount which accumulated to 16.95 crore including interest was transferred  in September 2008 to the Government account.

In 2009,an apex level meeting was held under the chairmanship of chief minister wherein it was decided  to depute officers of the department to other states for understanding the process for implementation of the scheme.The Audit also observed that the department had without identifying the sites and establishing basic infrastructure for setting up computer centres at sub tehsil offices submitted  proposal to the Govt of India.After this was pointed out in Audit, the Assistant Director Planning and Statistics  in January 2012 also confirmed that infrastructural facilities at Nibat level was insufficient.

In its report, CAG has also revealed that the department had not implemented the scheme in a proper and planned manner for which the central government had released rs 2.86 crore during March 1990 to June 1999 to the state government rendering the expenditure of 2.66 crore unfruitful. When the matter was referred to Government/Department in March 2012 the reply had not been received till December 2012.

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