Digital Land Management in Bangladesh
In this situation, it is important to establish a compatible land administration and management system for establishing a systematic approach for planned land development. Land Information System (LIST) is the most accountable and feasible systematic approach for developing an up-to- date land administration and management. LIST is related to various quantitative and qualitative aspects of land resource. Holding different cartographic information, LIST facilitates capturing, retrieval, and querying of information and provides tools to perform different analyses.
Based on the secondary Information by literature review, this paper is aimed at studying the existing land administration system, and recommending feasible interventions and strategy of LIST for creating an efficient land administration and management policy for Bangladesh, This paper also focuses on the challenges of LIST that are needed to be resolved for framing the existing land administration and management policy for planned and controlled growth of Bangladesh.
Introduction Bangladesh, a South-Asian developing country is characterized by very high population growth and scare land. It spills out jumbled and spontaneous land development within urban areas as well as other areas within the country. The rapid increase of population is continuously reducing the land-man ratio of the country. The rate of land transfer and land conversion
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However, the conventional land administration system cannot keep pace with the growing demand and changing situation of the land market. Inappropriate land administration and management system is the cause for unplanned growth, and this eventually generates problems in community life. Inadequate and improper land records Increase difficulties In the security of land tenure and land transfer. For this, It comes an obligation to establish a compatible land administration and management system by setting up a holistic approach.
Land Information System (LIST) Is the most feasible systematic approach for developing an efficient land administration and management system in Bangladesh. This paper focuses on the issues that are needed to be addressed in formulating a viable land administration and management policy for the planned and controlled growth In Bangladesh. An Overview of Present Land Administration and Management in Bangladesh encompassing preparation of Record-of-Rights (ROR) through surveying and mapping f land plots, registration of deeds during transfer of land and updating ownership records.
At present, two different Ministries namely Ministry of Land (MOL); Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (MAMMAL) practice land administration and management in Bangladesh. Directorate of Land Record and Survey (DOLS) under the MOL prepares ROR and updating of ROR (mutation) is done by piazza land office which is under the Jurisdiction of MOL. Furthermore, registration of transfer deed is under obligation of Registration Department that is under the MAMMAL. The DOLS is entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out astral surveys and preparation of ROR.
A revised amaze map showing location, area and characteristics and a chatting indicating ownership, area and character of land are the two parts of ROR. The DOLS conducts surveys and settlement operations through Zonal Settlement offices and Piazza Settlement offices. A survey team consisting of two Surveyors and one Chainman conduct the survey operation. The steps of hearing objections and appeal are done by Sub-Assistant Settlement Officer (SASS) and Assistant Settlement Officer (ASS) respectively (Aziza, 2003).
Survey operation consists of the following phases: traverse survey, Swastika (Plot to Plot) survey, preliminary record writing (Snappier), demarcation of boundary, local explanation (Bujumbura), attestation (Tasted), draft publication, disposal of objection, appeals, final Junk (checking), printing and publication of Chatting (Aimed, 1994). Furthermore, revision settlement for upgrading land record is undertaken by the settlement offices. Land records that have been prepared through revision settlement operation are reliable (Squid, 1997).
Land registration is a deed of maintenance of a public register, which is a record of n isolated transactions. Sub-Register (SIR) registers transfer of any parcel of land through a deed with stamp on the property value as Immovable Property Transfer Tax (PIPIT). When any deed is registered in Registration office, Land Transfer (L T) notice is to be sent to the Office of Assistant Commissioner’s (AC, Land) Office (Aziza, 2003). Mutation is the process of revising and updating the ROR on transfer of land ownership and on subdivision and amalgamation of landholdings.
The AC (Land) working under Deputy Commissioner (DC) updates or revises partially these land records through mutation process. There are two ways of mutation (Squid, 1997): I) Mutation according to L T; and it) Mutation in response to application to the Piazza Land office. After the finalization of land records in survey operation the DOLS sends stating, amaze maps to the DC office that preserves them in the District Record Room. At present, a Record Room is also maintained in the AC (Land) Office and Union Land Office.
These Land Records provide the base to conduct further survey and preparation of master plan, structure plan, infrastructure development plan, functioning of public and private development and by the companies providing utility revises. Problems of Present Land Administration and Management in Bangladesh Lack of coordination: Land record preparation, upgrading of ROR and land transfer registration are the integral parts of land administration and these should be coordinated well enough. However, these offices work separately with little coordination among them (Aziza, 2003).
At present the responsible ministries and agencies involved for land management and administration work independently with little coordination among them. Manual and Labor intensive Process: The whole process is manual, laborious and time intensive. Conventional methods of land survey, preparation and upgrading of land records, maintenance of all related data for each parcel of land makes land administration and management incomplete and inefficient. Widespread Fake Documenting: Moreover, distortion of land records at various stages (I. E. Lot-to-plot survey, preparation of records and drawing of maps through conventional methods, objections, Junk / checking works, printing, etc. ) hinders land development control and property tax collection. Isolated maintenance of registration deeds and delay for sending LET notices to the AC (Land) office by the Registration office makes mutation and eventually the upgrading of ROR a lengthy procedure. As a result, it requires revision settlement for updating land record that is more complex and time consuming. All the current stages of conventional preparation of ROR are vulnerable to tampering and distortion.
No Single Ownership Document: Stating are not conclusive evidence of ownership, merely provide basis for possession at the recording time. Under the prevailing legal system, stating along with deeds and mutated documents together are relevant for ownership decision by a Civil court (Aim, 1996). The lengthy and complex process of ownership determination enhances conflicts. The present system of registered transfer deed of land does not prove ownership or transferable rights of the seller rather put risk of false transfer (Aziza, 2003).
Deeds are full of unnecessary, irrelevant and meaningless words that make them difficult to understand. Fraud and forgery: Inadequate and improper land registrations increase difficulties in land security tenure and land transfer in Bangladesh, as deed system does not provide the final proof of the proprietary right (Lam, 1992; Hosing, 1995). There is o provision of compensation if any loses occur to some person due to mistakes or errors in the deed. These results large-scale fraud and forgery related to land sale registration (Lam, 1992).
There is notable corruption in Registration Office. If certain rate is not paid to the officers and staffs of the office, the deed is not placed before the Sub-Registrar for registration. There is also a tendency of reporting lower price of land during the time of registration for avoiding PIPIT or overpricing for getting the favor for finding bank loan for land development. It is an open secret that charge in Teethes office in the time of mutation. The mutation records can be distorted either during survey and settlement operations or due to false report of the Distillers.
Inefficiency go Settlement Press: Inadequate capacity of the Settlement Press for printing land records and poor quality of record maintenance also aggravate the inefficiency of the existing system. Many valuable records in Record Room have become worn out due to continuous use over a long period of time. Lack of the systematic and updated source of information has made the existing land record system more complicated and ambiguous that results innumerable land disputes and malpractice.
Even government is continuously being deprived of her own (asks) land as grabbers manipulate ownership through forged documents (Barbara, 2001). Overwhelming land disputes: Over 3. 2 million land-related cases are pending before the Judiciary in Bangladesh. This huge figure does not take into account the large number of the aggrieved who do not feel empowered enough to approach the courts for litigation. Land disputes often lead to violence and criminal offenses. It is said that 80 percent of criminal offenses today stem from land disputes. Corruption: Manual process, lack of transparent documents
Given the absence of a transparent system, bribery and other irregularities are common. People in the administration who are responsible for creating and maintaining land records often prepare incorrect records intentionally, and land owners are forced to pay bribes to officials to get the records approved. Officials and surveyors are often in cahoots with touts and land sharks; cases abound where people have paid bribes to officials and/or surveyors and gotten land ownership transferred/recorded illegally in their names, leaving the real owner(s) running pillar to post to get Justice.
In 2006 alone, bribes worth about 83 billion Bangladesh Take were paid for land related services such as registration and altering of records. Rationality of LIST based Land Administration and Management in Bangladesh Land administration and management system is too much complicated in Bangladesh. For efficient and appropriate land management program, maintenance of updated land ROR is very much important. It is easy to facilitate quick capturing, retrieval, and querying by holding different cartographic information by LIST.
This provides different tools to perform different analyses. As a result, LIST could suit with he spontaneous land conversion and title change in the country. Land Information System (LIST) for Land Administration and Management in Bangladesh Once an accurate geodetic framework and astral system has been developed, degree of measurement accuracy. This attempts to arrive at compatible multiple land uses within selected parcel of land (Deemed, 1999).
Land administration and management, land use control, provision of utility services and other services can be pursued by computerized LIST. This system would serve unified services related to land management by marginal labor, time and money. Use of LIST for recording and maintaining the original volume of land records could minimize the chances of tampering of records. LIST could introduce Unified caster that is a broader concept to incorporate information related to positioning of land, land size and orientation, land ownership, land use etc.
This is a large scale, community oriented land information system to serve both public and private organizations concerned to land administration and management, land development and service provision. Concept of Land Information System Geographic Information System (GIS) is defined as collection of data, storage and analysis with relation to their spatial distribution at various stages of information handling (Figure 1). LIST is a bifurcation of GIS. When data in the GIS is related to various quantitative and qualitative aspects of land resource, it is termed as Land Information System (LIST).
LIST is most often based on the ownership, management, and analysis of portion of the earth most frequently of interest to human. The Astral Survey (CSS) and Mapping methodology based on ground survey or aerial survey supplemented by ground survey is to be adopted. Completion of these operations would provide digital amaze maps (Aziza, 2003). Figure 01 describes the concept of a land information system, where different agencies make a series of overlapping maps or other media of information based on common identifiers.
Satellite navigation systems or Global Positioning system (GAPS) could be used for field data collection. For this, the surveyors use portable backpack or hand-held devices. They use signals from GAPS satellites to work out this exact location on the earth’s surface in the terms of (x, y, z) co-ordinates using trigonometry at the push of a button of the GAPS receiver. Most GAPS receivers store collected co-ordinates and associated attribute information in their internal memory, so they can be downloaded directly into a GIS database (Heywood, et. L. 2002). Fundamental Elements of Land Information System Fundamental elements for a LIST-based astral mapping system are as follows: Geographic Control Data Geographic control data describes the coordinate system of all data in the GIS that is subdivision boundary corners could be used for spatial reference. Astral Data Astral data are the spatial information describing each plot containing area, use, plot number, plot boundaries together with location expressed in terms of amaze, piazza and district.
These delineate all astral parcels and display a unique Identification Number (IN) for each of them and relate the parcel to attribute information. Attribute Data Attribute data are additional information about geographic control base map data, astral information, and other mapped features. For example, Ownership Rights expressed in terms of name and address of the owners, share of the plot, other interests in a plot that include appurtenances, mortgages and leases against the plot along with Identification Number (IN).
Attribute data are stored in a database. The following parts of the papers attempt to provide some recommendations for preparation and maintenance of land information by LIST. Preparation of Land Information System Figure 2 shows the steps with the actors that could work for preparation of land record with LIST. In the preliminary stage, satellite image could be an important source for determining land use of areas I. E. River, house, cropland. These satellite images and the conventional land record could be used as base map for conducting survey to prepare LIST.
For preparation of unified caster the first step is to establish geodetic survey control network I. . Piazza under collaboration of Piazza Settlement office and AC (Land) Office. This network provides unique reference framework. The Survey Team (SST) comprising surveyors of the Piazza Settlement Office with the Joint venture of Private Survey Companies would prepare Land Record. The conventional survey method would be substituted by GAPS for field data collection and mapping. AC (Land) as well as the Zonal Settlement Officer would facilitate this team with guidance and monitoring.
Component Action Actors and function tool Companies Piazza Settlement Office: Collaboration with AC Land) office and private companies Survey Team (SST) comprising Piazza Settlement Office and private survey companies: Joint venture Record Preparation Team (RPR): Comprising the SST, Settlement officer, AC (Land) and Local Government representatives Private companies: Under the supervision of Piazza Settlement officer and AC (Land) RPR: Regular hearing and recording Private companies: Use of LIST A monitoring cell in Piazza Land office comprising the officials from Piazza Settlement Office and AC (Land) office Satellite images and the conventional land record Establishment of geodetic survey control network
Extensive GAPS Survey Investigation and Recording ownership Preparation of draft land record Displaying draft land record, hearing & appeal Finalization of Land ownership records Preserving and maintaining of Land ownership records Source: Developed by Author, 2008 Figure 2: Steps (actions) for preparation of land record After establishing plot descriptions, the next step will be recording ownership in each plot. Ownership will be determined through investigation of the documents and other forms of evidence Journal of Bangladesh Institute of Planners, Volvo. 2, December 2009 of ownership presented by the owner. RPR would comprise of the SST, Zonal officer, AC (Land) and Local Government representatives (Piazza Parish Chairman and members). The team would collect evidence of possession and ownership of land in open meetings within a given period of time. Alongside ownership rights, the same appurtenance using various sources. Then private companies would prepare draft land record within a short period by using GIS software.
Draft land record will then be displayed in the notice boards inviting objections, from all who are concerned within a specific period. Complaints would be heard by RPR. There would be scope for appeal. Hearing and appeal would be confined to a definite timeshare to avoid unusual delay. After disposal of appeal, the private companies would finalize unified land ownership records and prepare LIST for data management within a given time. Landowners would get printed final copies of land record with IN. Piazza Land office would preserve the master copies as well as the softly with sufficient computer networking for information sharing with DOLS and DC Office. Maintenance of Land Information System A monitoring cell of Piazza Land Office comprising the officials from Piazza
Settlement office and AC (Land) office, headed by Land Record Officer (LORD) would continuously update ownership records for changes during transfer, inheritance or inclusion of other rights. This point provides some suggestions to maintain LIST for land administration. Transfer through sale Landowners requiring transfer of ownership would apply addressing LORD in a simple prescribed form showing IN of land and particulars. Registration Officer would prepare computerized deed of land transfer with stamp duty and tax on the basis of verification of LORD from the database of LIST. LORD would update Land record accommodating ownership changes through the information form registration office by computerized information networking simultaneously.
Inheritance and other rights Recording changes of ownership due to inheritance and other rights involves submission of an application in simple prescribed form to LORD. Updating records of plot boundaries as a result of subdivision or amalgamation would start with an application in a prescribed form to LORD. Surveyors of Piazza Settlement Office would verify it on the ground level with the help of GAPS. By continuous updating by this way, here would not require intervening settlement functions and mutation. Comparison between conventional land record and proposed system would make proposed land administration and management system by LIST more understandable. Table 1 highlighted the major similarities and contrasts between LIST with the existing land administration system.
Example of Applying GIS in Land Administration related data in digital form with financial assistance from UNDO and MUNCH. The Land Data Hub contains information (statistics, descriptions, maps etc) on astral boundaries, building outlines, and topographic data as well as sewerage, drainage ND telephone networks. Substantial cost savings have been made by avoiding work duplication and data inconsistencies. Standardized data can now easily be integrated with local data kept by each agency. Various agencies are responsible for the continuous supply and updating of data to a support unit located in a central ministry which is supposed to harmonize the data. The agencies meet regularly to agree on common policies and procedures (Paulson, 1992).
Challenges/Key Issues for Introduction of LIST in Bangladesh For introducing computerized LIST some key issues are needed to be resolved, such as reorganizing existing land recording system to suit with LIST, setting up appropriate legal procedures for resolving inherent and other form of land right. Moreover, it is a great challenge for introducing necessary skill and training for developing human resource, a financial commitment and last of all the political will. Therefore, implementation of LIST is not a simple matter as it involves in general the following legal, political and technical issues that are needed to be resolved before introduction of LIST. Legal Existing land administration and management law is not responsive to the practice of LIST. It needs extensive review and update of the existing land policies, organizational set up for land management to cope with new ROR system.
Institutional In every political period, the importance for attaining an accurate, up-to-date and easily accessible land record system has been emphasized. However, in practice, for variety of reasons the land administration and management of the country are still in dilapidated state. There is lack of inter- ministerial and interdepartmental coordination for the functions of land registration, record preparation, settlement operation and record maintenance. It is a great challenge to integrate all of the expansible Ministries, departments and offices extensively to deal with the LIST. Technical It would require technical equipments, such as computer, software, GAPS receiver, printer, scanners and so on for introduction of LIST.
Moreover, highly technical and skilled professionals would be essential for conducting survey, computerized database management, computer networking, land record preparation, updating records due to land sale or inheritance or other activities for LIST. Lack of trained and Bangladesh is a major barrier for effective survey and mapping for LIST. Financial Technical equipments and skilled staff are very expensive. It would be a great challenge to manage the huge monetary fund for extensive survey, mapping, database management, organizational arrangement and other tasks for introducing LIST in Bangladesh. Some Guiding Issues For effective land administration and management, diversified information related to land could be unified by LIST.
This unified land record system needs the conciliation and cooperative attitude of the land record and survey and other concerned organizations. Though there are a number of underlying challenges for introduction of LIST for land administration and management system in Bangladesh, sufficient tepees could bring possible solution. Necessary legislative framework should be prepared to support the proposed astral system to meet user requirements, to redefine the roles of the government, industry and academia for supporting LIST. The officials concerned with its preparation and recording have to be legally authorized to conduct proceeding and make ownership vesting orders.
The Registration Act should be modified to make ownership checking as a mandatory obligation before registration. The revenue laws of the country should be modified, simplified and practicably and pragmatically inform throughout the country for better land administration. If land administration and management responsibility is vested to single agency, it could increase the responsibility of the agency. Eventually, the existing management practice and legal procedure reform could bring the risk of a chaotic situation. The unified land record system with LIST could be set with the present institutional arrangement with minimum extension and modification of the functioning of the responsible agencies.