Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces
(DNA, July 6, 2011)
Pune: The Maharashtra government has decided to use the Pimpri-Chinchwad New Township Development Authority’s (PCNTDA) ‘Shashwat’ programme to digitise all land records in government offices across the state. This will automatically help put an end to land scams and ensure transparency in government records.
The PCNTDA recently launched its touch screen facility to give information about lease deeds, allotment letters and other land records. The authority started the facility under its ‘Shashwat’ programme to digitise all records since its formation in 1972.
PCNTDA chief executive officer Suhas Diwase made a presentation of the ‘Shashwat’ project during his meeting in Pune last week with chief minister (CM) Prithviraj Chavan. The CM was impressed by the system and expressed his desire to start the project at the state level in all municipal corporations as well as government offices to stop corruption and give easy access to general public.
The CM also asked the authority to submit the detailed procedure manual of the project. Speaking to DNA, Diwase said, “As per the CM’s guideline, we are preparing the procedure manual and will submit it to the government soon.”
Diwase added that Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations, district courts, Pune commissioner’s office and district collector have also approached the authority to provide guidance on introducing the project to digitise land records.
Elaborating on the project, he said, “The touch screen facility has been receiving good public response since it started in May. It has also reduced the number of applications under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI).”
Under the project, 50 lakh documents — mainly land records — have been scanned. To check land records, the citizens have to meet various officials and employees, which is not only time consuming but also affects work at the office. All land records and official information are now made available through touch screen facility at the office.
The user-friendly facility does not require the assistance of any PCNTDA employee. Diwase said he joined the authority in 2008 and, after barely a month, undertook the project. “Very soon, citizens will get prints of any land record in the office itself,” he said.
The project has helped usher transparency in the PCNTDA office in Nigdi. Gone are the heaps of files in a shabby state and in their place is a pleasant office with a corporate touch.