Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu
“In my opinion once digitisation of land records has been accomplished, it will bring lot of positive changes to the lives of the common property holders,” says Ajeet Kumar Sahu
The people in different parts of the country, including J&K face problems due to the land titles not being very clear. It is expected that the digitisation of land record system will solve these problems. What steps are you taking to ensure that the digitised data is easily available?
We recognise the problem of land records in some cases not being very clear. There are various reasons for this. The digitisation of land records is a national project. We have started work on that in Jammu & Kashmir. The operations have already commenced in several tehsils of Jammu district. We are also trying to take the data online.
On many occasions the disputes regarding lands arise due to emotional attachment that people have with their ancestral property. There could be lot of social issues involved in land disputes. How are you dealing with such problems?
Ultimately all land related disputes have to be resolved through government policies. We can’t allow ourselves to be swayed by emotions and we have to implement the law of the land in deciding land related issues. In my experience, the land related issues are most critical in Jammu, as compared to what we have in other parts of the state. Various concerned departments are already working to resolve all these issues and we are devoted to implementing all the decisions that get taken by the departments. Land issues are difficult to solve, but we are able to find a solution in most cases.
You have adopted several e-Governance measures when you were a DC in Poonch area. Please share with us the details of these initiatives.
We have undertaken two major initiatives in Poonch. We had established a control room through which the Deputy Commissioner can be in contact with the citizens 24X7. In case the deputy commissioner is not available, all the grievances are recorded. We also took the initiative of having a public grievance monitoring system. The system was created by NIC. The system enables us to register all the grievances through unique numbers, so that they can be easily monitored. Most of these grievances could be addressed in a very easy and seamless manner.
What kind of response did your system of registering grievances in digital format receive from the public?
The response was quite good. It is a fact that people do not want to visit our office on a regular basis. They can work from home and there by avoid spending money that is generally required for travelling. They can also save their valuable time if they record their grievance. The citizens will be more satisfied if their grievances are recorded quickly and are also resolved.
You have been quite enthusiastic in implementing the J&K Pulse solution. What kind of impact is this solution having at ground level?
J&K Pulse is the latest mobile based application introduced by the J&K government. It is available on the Android operating system. The main benefit of the project is that it can capture the details of any project that is being executed. The captured image is geo tagged in real time and is uploaded on to a secure central server. This software is proving to be very useful for monitoring projects that are being implemented in far flung areas, where there is no Internet connectivity, only mobile connectivity is there. The pilot projects have already been completed in Poonch and Rajouri. We are in the process of implementing it in Jammu as well.
J&K Pulse is the latest mobile based application introduced by the J&K government
Talking specifically of Jammu, in your opinion what is one particular project that will benefit this place most?
During my current tenure, I plan to focus in a big way on the digitisation of land records in Jammu. In my opinion once digitisation of land records has been accomplished, it will bring lot of positive changes to the lives of the common property holders. The digitisation project has already proved very successful in Bengal, Bihar and other states. In Jammu also it will lead to lot of benefits.
It is obvious that people have lot of expectations from someone who is sitting in your chair. How do address the challenges of meeting the expectations of so many people?
I understand that people have lot of expectations from anyone in my position. But we need to create a system through which so many issues can get resolved in a timely manner. Without technology it is not possible to address so many grievances. So the technology and e-Governance are the way forward.