Continuing its spree of reforms in the Revenue administration, the State government has decided to make the entire process relating to conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes online.

Accordingly, applicants should forthwith file applications for conversion online and the conversion process would be carried out seamlessly through the Dharani, the integrated land records management system portal. On completion of conversion, the land would instantly be entered electronically into Dharani non-agricultural portal.

The Legislative Assembly passed the Telangana Agricultural Land (Conversion for non-agricultural purposes) (Amendment) Act, 2020 on Tuesday.

Legislative Affairs Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy, who piloted the Bill on behalf of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in the House, said the amendments were aimed at increasing transparency in revenue administration.

The changes would ensure hassle-free revenue administration public interest and result in evolving good practices to end corruption.

The Bills were contemplated in view of the problems encountered in the conversion process which left discretionary powers with officials.

Discrepancies

The Revenue Divisional Officer who was competent authority received the applications and discrepancies were noticed in the collection of conversion charges. There was huge pendency of applications as well as dues to the tune of ₹826 crore payable on account of conversions pending to the government. The existing laws mandated effective coordination between the Revenue, Panchayat Raj and Municipal Administration departments and this was resulting in delays in effecting conversions.

There was no mechanism to check these aspects in the past and hence, it was decided to simply the provisions in the Act and make it more transparent.

The government had therefore decided to ensure time-slot based conversions by hosting the entire process online. Accordingly, the conversion process would be completed the same day along with mutation and the document of ownership would be handed over to the parties concerned. The government had already posted data pertaining to 95% of the lands, 1.48 crore acres on Dharani portal.

Congress member Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, however, expressed doubts over the veracity of the records entered into Dharani portal, claiming that allowing wrong entries would result in chaos in the coming days.

The State government should therefore complete the survey and settlement of the entire land across the State before making the processes online, the Congress leader said.

“Entry of wrong information will lead to issuance of wrong certificates more than once. This needs to be avoided,” he said.

Mr. Prashanth Reddy, however, said since the survey and settlement process would take more than a year, the government had decided to ensure the data was hosted online in the land administration processes.



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