Land survey faces fund crunch
The survey will not cover Hyderabad, where hundreds of acres of government land is encroached
Sep 12, 2014
Source : The Times of India
Ministry of Rural Development


HYDERABAD: Plans for a comprehensive land survey in the state expected to provide government with information to put an end to land disputes and encroachments have hit a roadblock even before the exercise has been taken up. The survey will not cover Hyderabad, where hundreds of acres of government land is encroached.

However, with the state relying on funds from the Union ministry of rural development (MoRD) for the survey which has offered to foot a bill totaling Rs 260 crore fixing Rs 16,500 as the cost for surveying one square kilometer of land, the state government finds itself in a fix over the actual cost of conducting the survey.

"The problem is the prevailing rate for land survey is anywhere between Rs 35,000 and Rs 40,000 per sq km. For 70,000 sq kms area in seven districts, the required amount would be Rs 400 to Rs 500 crore. The MoRD rates were fixed in 2008 which need to be revised," a senior official of survey and land settlements department said.

The survey and land settlements department of Telangana has prepared proposals for survey in seven districts covering about 70,000 sq kms and sent them to ministry of rural development (MoRD) under National Land Records Modernization Programme. Under this programme, both the state and Centre would share the programme cost equally.

With respect to the survey in Hyderabad, MoRD has turned down a request for funds as the city is an urban settlement. The state government will need to seek help from ministry of urban development for funding for land survey.

The Telangana state government has decided to conduct land survey in the state as it was last done in Telangana districts in 1930s.

In Hyderabad, the last town survey was conducted between 1960 and 1975. Officials said generally it takes about three years to complete the land survey and another year to computerize the land records. After the survey, a draft notification has to be issued seeking objections from the public before the implementation of the survey.

Officials said apart from Hyderabad, the survey would not cover Nizamabad and Karimnagar districts. While land survey and records was completed in Nizamabad under Bhu Bharathi project, Karimnagar district received funds of about Rs 50 crore from MoRD for the survey along with four other districts like Srikakulam, Anantapur, Kadapa and Nellore districts in 2008 and subsequent years.

The survey was not taken up as the then state government has not released matching grants for the survey. Now the MoRD reportedly told the revenue officials that they would consider giving fresh sanction to Karimnagar only if the previously sanctioned amounts are returned.

The state government has also decided to seek enhancement of the rates as there is a huge difference between the sanctioned amount and actual expenditure. Other states like West Bengal, Kerala and Maharashtra have also sought increase in the rates as they were approved in 2008.

"The department has sent proposals for comprehensive land survey in seven districts of Telangana. The proposals have been placed before the monitoring and sanctioning committee of MoRD last week and the sanction is expected in a week

. The department will take necessary steps for enhancement of the amount and covering Hyderabad with ministry of urban development," director of land survey and settlement K Harshavardhan told TOI. The department would float tenders as soon as they get in principle clearance and start work immediately, the director said.

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