Staff Correspondent

Survey of land began on December 15

Land survey expected to be completed in a year

Task of maintaining records to be shifted to Mangalore City Corporation

MANGALORE: The Revenue Department launched a land survey here recently, which is aimed at changing the present system of maintaining property rights records.

The current system of record maintenance here is complicated, as it was originally meant for keeping the record of agricultural lands. This system makes it very difficult for the officials to figure out the exact extent of an individual’s property, which has multiple stakeholders.

In the case of agricultural lands, the Revenue Department issues the Record of Rights, Tenancy and Crops (RTC) to owners. In case of non-agricultural land, the corresponding document of ownership being issued is known as “Khata.”

However, in the 32 erstwhile villages that constitute the present city of Mangalore, the property rights records continue to be maintained as RTC documents, although a majority of the lands had been converted for non-agricultural purposes long ago. The system continues to be followed because there were no proper surveys conducted to map and accurately trace the residential and commercial plots that replaced agricultural fields in the city.

The survey, which was started in the city on December 15, aims at setting right these discrepancies. Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj, under whose guidance the survey is being conducted, told The Hindu on Friday that the survey would be completed in a year’s time.

The survey would be conducted in four steps. In the first step, the city’s boundary would be mapped and in the second step the roads and other common properties would be demarcated. The third step would comprise marking of the city’s wards, and finally the survey team would start fixing boundaries and the extent of each plot in the city.

On the problems being encountered in the present record maintenance system he said, those owning flats in multi-storey apartment complexes in the city were facing certain hardships. “There are cases where there are over 150 owners for an eight-cent apartment.

“Under the current system of RTCs, it is almost impossible to find out the extent of an individual’s property,” he said. This was creating serious problems for owners in cases of property disputes or during sale and purchase, he added.

The RTC system accounts for landed property only on two-dimensional or horizontal terms. “That is fine as long as one is measuring agricultural land. But, what about the case of an apartment complex, which has three dimensions?” he asked.

Another problem with this system was that the entire record of properties in the city was maintained by the State Revenue Department at the taluk office. “This puts enormous pressure on the Revenue Department, which has also been assigned with the maintenance of the records for the rest of the taluk,” he said.

Once the new system of record maintenance comes into force, the entire records will be shifted from the Revenue Department to the Mangalore City Corporation.