Nearly 13 years after its formation,Jharkhand lacks knowledge of its territory,land and villages.Since the cadastral maps showing them were not given to it by Bihar till date,it has accused the parent state of not making them available to it as per the law.
Worse,in absence of these maps,implementation of the Centre’s ambitious scheme- National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP)launched in 2008 in Jharkhand has been stalled.
The cadastral maps numbering 82,119 were needed by the Jharkhand government to update its land revenue records and implement the Centre’s ambitious Rs 125.07 crore NLRMP scheme to usher in a computerized system of updated land records,automated and automatic mutation,integration between textual and spatial records,inter-connectivity between revenue and registration.
Five years later,when many other states including Karnataka,Gujarat and Bihar were racing ahead to complete the scheme,all works connected with its implementation were halted in Jharkhand due to non availability of these cadastral maps.
“We are badly hit as all other works related with the land settlement and demarcation of boundaries with neighbouring states have come to a halt.Even digitisation of land records cannot be done in absence of these maps”,a senior officer of the land revenue department said.
The Survey of India(SoI),a Department of the British Government,established in 1767,was fully involved in the collection of the details pinpointing the territory encompassing villages and their boundaries. Following the recommendation of the 1904 Committee, the British government had empowered the respective states to conduct the cadastral surveys in their own areas of jurisdiction.
The hard copies of these cadastral maps of 1905-06,apart from the maps prepared after completion of survey in 1934-35 and the maps made after another survey in 1958-61,were supposed to be preserved by the Bihar government’s body Mudranalaya(Press) at Guljarbagh in Patna.
Fed up with the no response from his counterpart of Bihar,Jharkhand Chief Secretary RS Sharma said, “We can pay whatever sum is needed to get these maps copied.”
But Bihar is not in a mood to cooperate.”Before that we want several pending issues such as financial liability related with the staff’s pension and so on are settled once and for all”,said a senior IAS officer of Bihar cadre.
As per the Bihar Reorganisation Act,2000, “all the land and all the stores,articles and other goods belonging to the existing state of Bihar shall: if within the transferred territory,passed to the State of Jharkhand.”