The fact that change of Record of Rights (ROR) is much delayed at offices of revenue department even years after sell and purchase of land patches would be a great stumbling block during disbursement of compensation for house damage and crop loss in Phailin cyclone hit Ganjam district.

As per regular practice, the assistance and compensation declared for natural calamity hit victims is provided to land owners who have ROR or patta in their name. But as per lawyers as well as political leaders and social activists, most of the time the person in whose name the ROR may be there may not be the present owner of the land. They blame the Revenue Department for it.

There have been cases where the ROR or patta remains in the name of a person while in reality the land may have got sold and purchased several times during past decades. “At present, the State government is planning to provide the assistance for damaged houses and crop loss through e-transfer of money. But if it is done then the money may reach the person in whose name the patta remains rather than the present owner who may have incurred losses,” said Ali Kishore Patnaik, the State secretariat member of the CPI (M).

Mr Patnaik as well as lawyers like former secretary of Ganjam Bar Association Manoj Patnaik feel instead of ROR the government should consider the Record of Sale (ROS) while providing compensation to victims of the cyclone and floods.

Every sale deed of land is registered at the sub-registrar offices and every month these documents are sent to the concerned tehsil offices to be included in the Sale Deed Register (SDR). The tehsildars are to change the RORs on the basis of SDR and provide new ROR to the purchasers. “But in reality this process is never done suo motu at the tahsil offices and most RORs remain in the names of old owners while the new purchasers only have the SDR in their hand,” said Mr Manoj. If compensation would now be provided to the persons with ROR then it will mean that thousands of title holders would be deprived from their right to be compensated for the losses.

There have been cases where the ROR remains in the name of a person while the land may have been sold