Kerala plan to link land records with Aadhaar gets Centre's nod

Kerala plan to link land records with Aadhaar gets Centre's nod

Thiruvananthapuram: The Central government has granted its approval to implement Kerala Government's proposal to provide Aadhaar-based unique revenue record of property ('thandaper') to landowners.

The implementation of the project is likely to end benami holdings, in which the true identity of the real owner is concealed by registering the property in the name of a third party.

Once rolled out, the properties of a single owner, irrespective of location his/her land holdings in the State, will be registered under one unique 'thandaper.' It also helps the owner to avoid visiting the village office for linking his/her land records with Aadhaar. It can be done on the revenue portal at a specified time.

Once the project is rolled out, village offices will maintain Aadhaar-based land records. Additionally, a 12-digit unique identification number will replace the 'thandaper.'

(Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident of India.)

Dream project

Though being the State government's dream project, the plan has been in the cold storage for a year, pending the Centre's approval. With New Delhi giving the go-ahead, the State can now issue the order to implement the project.

The Central government's approval was necessary for the move since the Aadhaar holds confidential personal information. Minister for Revenue K Rajan had instructed the Land Revenue Commissioner to include the project in the second Pinarayi government's 100-day plan.

Based on the instruction, the Commissioner sought special permission from the Central government. In his letter to the Centre, the Commissioner pointed out that the State was taking the initiative to link land records with Aadhaar for ensuring social welfare and good governance. The Centre granted the permission based on the Commissioner's letter.

Current method

With single 'thandaper' coming into existence, it will be easier to find the land holding(s) of an individual in the State. Currently, information on the holding(s) of a person in one district is not available to other districts. If an individual has more than one parcel of land in the jurisdiction of a particular village office, it is now being registered under different 'tandapers'. The State's plan will bring all such holdings under one 'thandaper.'

Other advantages

It is expected that complex land-related issues can be avoided when the one- 'thandaper'-for-one-person norm is implemented. Besides, it will also help in identifying excess land.

At present, an individual can own a maximum of 7.5 acres, while a family (comprising father, mother and unmarried children) can hold a maximum of 15 acres. This norm, however, is not applicable to plantation owners, who have been granted exemption by the Land Reforms Act of 1970.

Portal facility

The revenue department's comprehensive portal, expected to go live on September 16, will have all land-related details. Individuals can check the portal for details of his/her land. Along with the portal, an app aiding the remittance of land tax will also be launched. It will help in paying the tax using the mobile phone.

Registration process unaffected

The Aadhaar-linking process will not affect the registration of land. Land deals could be registered using Aadhaar, PAN card or voters ID card.

The project's aims in a nutshell:

• Identify excess land: The Land Reforms Act will be amended to confiscate excess land, and distribute it among the landless.

• Better online service for beneficiaries.

• More accurate land records.

• Identify ineligible people benefiting from various welfare schemes.

• Existing law allows the landless to construct houses on up to five cents of paddy land. Several people, owning land in other districts, have been misusing this law. With Aadhaar-based unique 'thandaper' coming into existence, this will not be possible.

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