The State government’s initiative to launch an online portal for a host of services connected to the Revenue Department i.e. mamlatdar and collectorate departments is a small step in the right direction.
The real challenge for the government and the revenue department is now to ensure that not only are these services accessible and effective, but that the purpose of digitization is followed in letter and spirit.
For the uninitiated, the state government on Wednesday launched an online portal making a slew of services available to the population, including that of residence certificates, caste certificates, income certificates, partition of land, sound permissions and the like, without having to visit government offices to avail of the service.
The key to efficacy lies in ensuring that the online services are made available for several other services and extended to include other departments. To be fair, Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte promised as much, and in his comments has said that he has a roadmap in place to include more departments and other services that should be provided on
Similarly, the news that mutations will henceforth be an automatic process once the sale deeds and mutations are completed in a period of 90 days is to be welcomed. The hitherto, painful and arduous process being streamlined will help in becoming smoother and more ‘likeable’.
However, this should be welcomed with a note of caution. As several cases have testified, most famously that of Dr Otilia Mascarenhas of Porvorim, the sale deeds may not be ‘true’ fake sellers, and buyers are not to uncommon and a procedure for an automatic mutation will only quicken the pace at which the scam is carried through.
Unless the state government can introduce a system wherein the registrar introduces a system of checks and balances to check the genuinity of the sale deeds, the loophole will remain inherent in the system.
Under the present system, the registrar only registers the sale deed, washing his hands of any responsibility if the deed isn’t genuine, believing the onus is on the buyer to ensure that the seller is genuine.
Nonetheless, the fact that digitisation is finally taking shape after many false starts and unkept promises is to be applauded.