Curbing corruption in land office
The land office is one of the most devious, mischievous and sinister places in the country, particularly for gullible people who barely understand the intricacies of relevant rules and easily fall prey to manipulation by sly people. Recently, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has received an allegation and investigated the case. What it found in the process triggered the agency to make six recommendations to the land ministry and the land record and survey department last week. ACC thinks the six steps would bring relief to parties and make the dreadful place people-friendly. Staff correspondent Mahbubur Rahman Khan presents a summary of the recommendations here.
1. Replace temporary staff with a trained, permanent workforce.
2. Conduct massive campaign ahead of any land survey so that the rightful owners could prepare themselves with their documents and be physically present at the time of record of land ownership.
3. Introduce a digital survey and record-keeping system and fill the shortage of trained staff to stave off errors during survey. It will eliminate the necessity of further survey and spare people of hassles and legal battle and save money and energy.
4. Initiate departmental and criminal proceedings against dishonest officers and employees who take bribe. Also form committees to monitor the entire survey procedure.
5. Amend relevant laws and rules like the Survey Act 1875, SS Manual-1935, and State Acquisition and Tenancy Act-1950. The changes would help stop the dishonest officers/people from capitalising on the loopholes of law.
6. Launch inquiries into cases wherein some people have government khas land, vested or abandoned property recorded in their name through unscrupulous means. In this case, a comparative analysis of the latest and previous land records may help.