Sharath S. Srivatsa
BANGALORE: Technology is not the last word, the Department of Stamps and Registration, the custodian of all sorts of records, has realised. To its shock, some compact discs (CDs) on which registered documents, including those of property, were stored have been corrupted, according to department sources. Worse, thanks to its faith in digitisation, the department has no backup for these lost documents.
Officials have been unable access some CDs in Chamarajpet, Anekal, Peenya and Tumkur sub-registrar's offices, the sources said, though some documents on a CD were recovered in Tumkur.
“The problem came to the notice of the department when a property owner sought a certified copy of documents a few months ago,” the sources said.
The practice of storing registered data on CDs was launched in the State in August 2003 when KAVERI was introduced. ECIL and CMS Computers were vested with the responsibility of storing and maintaining the data related to registration of documents along with the implementation of KAVERI software.
According to a sub-registrar, on an average each CD has about 300 to 400 documents, depending on the size of the documents. “A CD was sent to Canada for data retrieval, which also failed. The problem is that there is no backup copy,” the sub-registrar said. “No physical document is now available for those that have been lost as the practice of keeping manual records was stopped,” another official said, and added that the manual system was foolproof. In many sub-registrar offices, details of documents dating back to 1857 are still available, the official pointed out.
The sources also said that one of the reasons for the loss of data on the CD was due to bad handling and maintenance. Improper copying of the data to the disc may also be a reason. Following the identification of the problem, the sub-registrars, it is learnt, have been asked to check all CDs in their offices to find out if any more have been corrupted. They have been asked to build up an automatic image backup to prevent a repeat of what has happened.
In some instances, many sub-registrars had anticipated problems and maintained photostat copies of the registered documents in their offices. Though it has been eight years since the project was launched, the department is yet to have a disaster recovery management, an official lamented. Though some officials insist that the documents lost to the CDs could be built, some sub-registrars are not so optimistic. Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Registration and Commissioner for Stamps S.N. Jayaram, who recently took charge, told The Hindu he was not aware of the development, and that he would inquire into the matter.