Wakf property records digitisation hits hurdles
Delay in second survey report, ownership disputes causing hindrance Hyderabad: The State government's...
Delay in second survey report, ownership disputes causing hindrance Hyderabad: The State government's sincerity in protecting the valuable Wakf property records has been exposed once again as it failed to complete the centrally sponsored 'digitisation of Wakf records' within a stipulated time. On the recommendation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Wakfs, the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs launched the computerisation of records scheme at an estimated cost of Rs 25 crore in December 2009 in all states. The objective of the programme was to bring in transparency in the maintenance of the Wakf properties, curb the encroachment of Wakf lands, update property data bases, monitor incomes from the properties and fight legal cases. The Union Ministry will also have access to all the updated information. The officials of the State Minority Affairs department said that hardly 40 per cent of the property records were computerised since the scheme was launched. The major hurdle for the completion of the project was the second survey on Wakf properties taken up in 2001, which is not yet completed. In the preliminary report, the second survey report said that the total acres of land owned by the state Wakf Board was over 4 lakh acres, but the property documents pertaining to one lakh acres were not found in the survey. The officials said that under the computerisation scheme, the original records of every property should be uploaded. The second survey taken up by the Survey Commissioner had not furnished the documents as the records went missing and in some cases the properties are in litigation .The digitisation of the records will not be completed unless the second survey report is published in the State gazette with furnished documents. The other stumbling block for completing the digitisation of records was that many cases pertaining to the ownership of Wakf lands were pending in the courts including in High Court and Supreme Court. State Wakf Board Chairman Afzal Biyabani told The Hans India that the State had the distinction of one of the biggest Wakf boards in the country and owns loads of properties. He said that the Board was struggling hard to dispose off the land encroachment cases as the number of cases were increasing every year. The ownership of land will not be finalised until court gives directions. He said that the government sought some more time from the Centre to complete the digitisation of records in view of the problems that rose in the execution of the scheme. He was also not sure when the project will be completed under the present circumstances. A