The Govt of Telangana introduced landmark legislations in the assembly, seeking to overhaul the revenue administration by simplifying agriculture & non-agricultural land transactions, preventing land encroachments & eradicating corruption at the grassroots level.
Chief Minister of Telangana state introduced the Telangana Rights in Land & Pattadar Passbooks Bill 2020 & the Telangana Abolition of the Posts of Village Revenue Officers Bill 2020, & state municipal administration minister introduced the Telangana Municipal Laws Amendment Bill 2020 & Panchayat Raj minister introduced the Telangana Panchayat Raj Amendment Bill 2020.
“The overall philosophy of the four bills is to bring about revolutionary reforms in land administration, though first two bills are related to the revenue department & the others are concerned with municipal administration & panchayat raj departments".
Making an elaborate presentation on the bills in the House, the State Govt had taken up a comprehensive survey of available lands in the state, including Agriculture lands, Govt lands, forest lands, Private lands & lands assigned to the landless poor.
“Every inch of the land will be surveyed & digitised along with longitudes & latitudes in the newly created Dharani portal of the state government so that there is no possibility of one person encroaching the other’s lands. The details of all government lands & assigned lands will be locked in the portal & will not be unlocked for registrations & mutation by individuals who try to encroach them".
An estimated ninty lakh properties in local bodies had already been digitised to carry out transactions digitally in Dharani portal. The entire land or property data will be available online & thus, preventing unauthorised or illegal transactions.”
For safety & security of the database in Dharani, the State Govt would install multiple servers at multiple places as part of a backup mechanism & disaster management technology.
The discretionary powers of officials in registering the land & properties had been removed in the new legislations. “As many as 590 tehsildars (block revenue officials) across the state will hereafter function as joint sub-registrars as well & do registration & mutation of agriculture lands at the same time. The registration & mutation of non-agriculture lands will be done by existing 141 sub-registrars,”
The entire registration process will be carried out digitally & people can visit the offices of the tehsildar-cum-sub-registrar only for once. “The entire registration process will be completed within an hour after submitting necessary documents & land records will be updated on the portal real time,”
people will not have to run around offices for certificates like encumbrance certificates, income certificates or caste certificates, which could be downloaded from the portal straightaway. The Govt was also contemplating incorporation of family tree details of every household in the portal so as to avoid disputes in deciding the legal heirs of properties.
there would be no revenue courts hereafter & all the magisterial powers of tehsildars, revenue divisional officers & joint collectors to deal with the land disputes would be withdrawn.
"If at all there is any land dispute, people could go to civil courts. As of now, around 16,000 cases are pending before these courts. They will be settled by fast-track tribunals," The new legislations also seek to abolish the posts of Village Revenue Officers (VROs) & Village Revenue Assistants (VRAs), about 20,000 VRAs will be given scale posts in different government departments as per their qualification. Similarly, about 5,480 VROs will be accommodated in different departments.
Rachakonda Rama chary, Lawyer, Telangana state.