KARACHI: After completion of ‘Strengthening Land Management System’ project for computerising residential, commercial and industrial lands within Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC)’s precinct in 1998-2000, no administration of the civic body bothered to use this facility till date, officials of KMC have revealed.
The land records of 200,000 lease, 500 registered, 500 maps and repairing same number of maps of year 1874 to 2000 had been computerised. But after year 2000, Nazims of City District Government Karachi (defunct), Naimatullah Khan and Mustafa Kamal during 10 years in office did not utilise the system and preferred manual recording of lands’ details.
This project was completed with World Bank funding to Rs 10 million besides additional 35 percent funds of the total cost bore by KMC. Now the old comprised record from the system and all equipments and machinery in computer department was missing.
“Perhaps abandoning this system and doing job manually was aimed to temper the record in order to bring changes on obvious reasons”, the officials maintained.
The officials have opined that original digital record of lands in question could be retrieved from consultants of the project, Yasmin Lari and Sameer Hoodbhoy and from Omer Mushahid, responsible of executing project and Omer Hayat, WB representative besides Mushtaq Rizvi, former Director KMC.
Now after 18 years, KMC has decided to establish ‘Land Record Digital Archiving and Management System (KLRDAMS), officials of Land Department of civic entity informed. This two-segment project costs Rs 30 million and likely to be completed by 2020.
Waseem Akhtar, Karachi Mayor in principle has approved this project of Rs 20 million and funds would be used from District Annual Development Funds.
The Information Technology Department officials would be trained by local as well as foreign IT experts. The project would likely be completed in two years by 2019 after start of work on it.
The project will help general public especially when intend to purchase plots, flats, residential property and they can buy a copy of approve land record from the Authority on nominal fee around Rs 500 to Rs 1,000.
The main objectives is to maintain a centralised database from where all information will be processed, stored and retrieved. System would be risk, security protected and also disaster recovery capable.
Authorised user through active directory system can also be access relevant latest information through remote networks in future.
In addition, this project would provide more timely and accurate information for analysis and reporting.
National Accountability Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency, Federal Board of Revenue, Anti Narcotics Force and Anti Corruption Sindh in past two years have already asked KMC to computerise entity’s land records.
Treatment of old land record lying in bad condition presents mounting problems of preservation and real risk of losing valuable information. Make those damaged documents in useable form for years, chemical treat documents may be used for digital archiving as well.
During year 2001 to 2016, there was no any land management system to mange, categories land nor any mechanism of automation or computerisation of land record i.e layout plan (LOP), maps, filed book, site plan, land register, land ownership file and lease and allotment etc.
It would provide e-services to citizen and to bring greater transparency in government-citizen interaction.
Since KMC being a government organisation is responsible to provide services to general public on minimal rates instead of generating profit, therefore this project after completion may become a income generating project with introducing verification fee of a land record by providing a workstation on public counters.
KMC had failed to streamline its land record, while it has 150 years’ record of land owners.
The property cannot be investigated through CNIC and record could only be checked through plot number. There are number of unnamed plots on record that could not be detected, said an official.
This has been decided that KMC Land Department would computerise 100 files on daily basis whereas land department officials would conduct daily visit of city to check establishment of encroachments on government land and in case they found any then a written information would be sent to anti encroachments department along with a copy of it to administrator secretariat for immediate action.
Published in Daily Times, January 11th 2018.