Plan to take LROs online in jeopardyThe government’s plan to offer online services for land and property transactions has failed to materialise, with the project getting delayed time and again.
The government’s plan to offer online services for land and property transactions has failed to materialise, with the project getting delayed time and again.
Launched in April 2013, the project has not made any significant progress so far.
Under the Land Records Information Management System (LRIMS) project of the Department of Land Reforms and Management (DoLRM), the government plans to provide the online services from Land Revenue Offices (LROs) in Dilli Bazaar, Chabahil, Kalanki, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Baglung, Banke, Morang, Chitwan, Dhading, Kaski, Kavre, Makwanpur and Parsa.
However, only the Kalanki LRO has so far gone online, while a pilot testing is
underway at Lalitpur and Dhading LROs.
With slow progress, the project completion date was recently extended for the third time until March 2016. But going by the current progress rate, the government is likely to miss that deadline too. “It is certain the task will not be completed within the stipulated time,” said Shree Chandra Shah, director at the land information and technology division of DoLRM.
He said data migration, one of the most crucial components for taking the system online, was taking much longer time. “A single LRO has at least 400,000-500,000 documents that need to be digitised,” he said.
Once the LRMIS system comes online, landowners need not wade through mounds of papers at LROs for acquiring details of their property and due taxes. Property owners will be able to view the information from their homes.
Besides the issue related to data migration, lack of human resources also caused the delay. “We have been providing phase-wise training to the officials,” he said, adding the devastating earthquake in the month of April last year too slowed down the project.
Relocation of LRO offices based in Dilli Bazaar and Bhaktapur due to the damage caused by the earthquake made things further difficult. “We need to work on the system again in these two LROs,” Shah said.
Once the online system is implemented, the government plans to issue a single integrated ownership certificate to property owners. As per the current land law, people in the Tarai region can own 11 bighas of land (10 bighas as property and 1 bigha for residential use). The ceiling in the hilly region has been fixed at 75 ropanis (70 ropanis as property and 5 ropanis for residential use).
However, in the absence of a technology-driven system, the government has not been able to keep tabs on land ownership. The integrated land ownership certificate is expected to make it easier for the government to find out landholdings by individuals.
The LRIMS project is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and is being executed by an Indian company named RMSI. The $1.365 million contract was signed between the DoLRM and RMSI on April 1, 2013.