Managing land information

Aug 2007 | Comments Off on Managing land information
The effi ciency of Land Information Management System will be assessed by its capacity to meet the needs of the land managers and users in urban and rural areas

LAND forms important part of development activity. Land revenue is one of the sources of income for state governments. It may come from land holdings by private individuals, real estate transactions or other natural resources being tapped by various sections of the society. Hence, creation of a Land Information Management System involves:

* Collection and depiction of accurate information on boundaries, land holdings and ownership, with reference to other spatial information.
* Collection and depiction of topographical and attribute information regarding land use and natural resources.
* Updating and maintenance of the information.

A LIMS is a computer system stored with spatial data pertaining to land parcels which can be easily retrieved, received and sent, for depiction, query, analysis and manipulation for arriving at judicious decisions. The LIMS should also generate reports and outputs of the analysis which is easy to handle and independently meaningful. Development of a LIMS involves the following:

1. Data Collection.
2. Data representation in a computer.
3. Design of application software for analysis and create Decision Support System.

It is important at this stage to understand the basic issues involved in developing an effi cient LIMS. These basic issues are:

* Magnitude of the basic tasks in a cadastral system – number of parcels to measure and register.
* Need to relate these parcel information with other spatial information.
* Magnitude and types of problems involved in the land ownership.
* Role of the cadastre and to appreciate the requirement of it’s completeness, comprehensiveness, usefulness and effective use.
* Use of existing land records in an effi cient manner in the decision support system in National and Global scenario and achieve incremental improvement in measurement and depiction accuracy, in a specifi ed time frame.
* Facilitate use of latest technology in storage of available information and incorporate updated information in the system continuously.
* Understand the availability of the capacity to do the job and requirement to build capacity to support the system.

Status of the system at present

Cadastre in India is a State Subject. The respective state governments have their own system of collection, depiction and maintenance of land information. Cadastral records form the input to assess land revenue. Most of these records have been developed by surveys carried out more than 50 years before. Positional information and measurements Measurements are not on a national framework. Different techniques were adopted by government agencies while initially building these records. Though at the time of these surveys, the techniques were modern, in the present context, they are outdated and burdened with errors. Descriptive and numerical information recorded in fi eld have been converted into graphical records. These have been prepared decades ago and not updated. They have the following drawbacks:-

1. The field and graphical records are in a mutilated condition.
2. They are not on uniform or standardized scale.
3. The procedure adopted during data collection did not ensure that the inconsistencies are detected and minimized to keep it within tolerance.
4. In many cases the records are not even available.
5. Due to inconsistencies in records and measurements, a lot of litigations have cropped up.
6. They are not on a national framework. Hence integration to smaller scales for analysis on national basis is not possible, within acceptable limits of discrepancies and tolerance.

Attribute information

The land use information is not updated from time to time. This leads to under valuation of the holdings leading to loss in revenue during transactions. In most of the states, the land administration is managed by using hard copy revenue data either in the form of maps or descriptive documents. The information has following drawbacks:

* They are outdated by decades and hence the government is undergoing loss due to incorrect assessment of taxes.
* The change in land use information is not informed by the owners from time to time, which is binding as per the law, hence loss in revenue.

What needs to be done

It is essential that creation of Land Information Management System is done with the following approach:

1. State level and National level connectivity.
2. Use of the LIMS.
3. Use of existing records till new records are created addressing all issues involved.
4. Use of modern technology keeping in mind the terrain conditions.
5. Status of the system in individual states.
6. Transfer of technology and knowhow to state governments and industry in carrying out the work.
7. Building capacity in local level and involving them in the process of collection of data.
8. Collect once and use many times for many purposes.

Need for national connectivity

Cadastral records need to be corrected for creation of a scientifi cally designed Sustainable LIMS. Correction cannot be done in an ad-hoc manner because public will have no faith in the system. Hence it is necessary that the records are created afresh, by actual survey on the ground. During the process, most modern methods of survey should be adopted so that the errors in the records due to inconsistent methodology are removed. While doing so, if the national connectivity can be achieved, it will be easy for integration of the data and analysis on a national scenario. There is also requirement to streamline the procedures in carrying out the fi led data collection so that inconsistency can be removed to the maximum extent. (Figure -1)



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