Property records project for B'lore hits roadblock

Property records project for B'lore hits roadblock

Govt to relax conditions for tenders; document maintenance to see reforms

Property records project for B'lore hits roadblock

The launch of the State government’s innovative Urban Property Owner Records (UPOR) project, which envisages issuing property titles to owners in Bangalore, has hit a roadblock.

Efforts to award the tender of the project (to be implemented in 50 wards of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike - BBMP limits in the first phase) recently failed due to poor response from private survey firms. Only two firms took part in the tender. Moreover, the rate quoted by them was three times higher than the government’s stipulation of about Rs 12 crore, sources said.

As a result, the Directorate of Survey Settlement and Land Records (DSSLR) was forced to cancel the tender. Steps are now being taken to re-tender the project, which is expected to usher in major reforms in the way urban property records are generated and preserved and lessen property disputes.

Under the project, survey, mapping and measurement of all properties will be done and the authenticity of their ownership verified. The DSSLR will issue what is called property cards (property titles) to owners by charging a nominal fee. The pilot project has been implemented in Mysore city.

While the pilot project was taken up on public-private partnership basis (private firms are investing in the project), the government has now decided to take it up on its own in Bangalore (the government will invest and get the project done from private firms). The project is estimated to cost Rs 12 crore in 50 wards of Bangalore, comprising about four lakh properties.

Officials said DSSLR had decided to re-tender the project with certain modifications in the conditions. Revision of certain conditions will ensure that more firms participate in the tender. They include allowing firms to participate in the tender as a consortium and engaging the services of other agencies at the time of implementation.

One of the reasons for survey companies not coming forward to take up the project is that there has been growing demand for them, after the Centre launched its land records modernisation programme in 2008. A number of other states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have taken up reforms in land records. Hence, it has been decided to relax the conditions, officials said. 

But it has been decided to make it mandatory for the contractor to maintain the database of the project for three years after implementation. Only after three years, 30 per cent of the project cost will be paid, officials said.

Re-tender in a fortnight

When contacted, Director of Survey Settlement and Land Records V Ponnuraj said steps were being taken to re-tender the project within a fortnight. Certain changes have been made in the conditions to make it more attractive for the firms. The entire process will be completed in about two months and the project will be launched, he added.