Bhu-Aadhaar or ULPIN will digitise land records for efficient land usage — but incrementally

Source- The post is based on the article “Bhu-Aadhaar or ULPIN will digitise land records for efficient land usage — but incrementally” published in “The Indian Express” on 13th April 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Government policies and interventions

Relevance– Issues related to land

News– In March, there was a national conference on Bhu-Aadhaar.

What are issues related to the pendency of cases, related to land records?

As per “Access to Justice Survey” by Daksh, the GDP loss to the country’s economy is about 1.3% due to projects being stalled over litigation involving land disputes.

66% of all civil suits in India are related to land or property disputes, and the average pendency of a land acquisition dispute is 20 years.

But there are variations from court to court and the numbers are just based on perception surveys.

According to the NIPFP Working Paper from August 2021 such litigation constitutes the majority of a court’s workload. But it has not been sufficiently proved that most of it is rooted in land-titling issues.

17% of all disputes at the Delhi High Court are related to immovable property. In these cases, the largest proportion of litigation is between private parties. The Union government is the petitioner in 2% of such litigation but is the respondent in more than 18% of cases.

Tenancy disputes are the most common type of litigation, closely followed by land acquisition related matters. Disputes related to property records are 13.6% of immovable property litigation.

What is the Digital India Land Record Modernization Program?

It integrates the computerization of land records, strengthening of revenue administration, and updating of land records.

Once this has been done, every plot/parcel of land can get the 14-digit alpha-numeric ULPIN (Unique Land Parcel Identification Number) or Bhu-Aadhaar.

What are issues related to modernisation of land records?

Digitisation of cadastral records is easy. But there are issues related to consistency and reliability of these maps. Cadastral maps will typically not have latitude/longitude data.

There may be elevation and projection problems.

Land is a state subject and land rights are a complex bundle of rights. Unlocking this unproductive asset has many layers.

What is the way forward for modernisation of land records?

Modernisation of land records in absence of other changes such as multiplicity of laws on land, should not be overstated.

ULPIN is about incremental improvements. There are parts where land titles and records are in a mess. Cleaning them up is a huge task.

But there are parts where titles and records are clean. Those can readily have their ULPIN.

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