Prime minister Narendra Modi’s digital India initiative aims to connect all Indian states through the internet. It’s one of the most ambitious visions for Indian real estate. It will help rural citizens get electronic government services like healthcare and education. Needless to say, this move will drastically affect housing for the Indian citizens as well. “Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) are considered to show marked real estate development,” says Myrealestate founder Sachin Gupta. “The Indian government is trying to expand this sector, from these major cities across the country, to the extent of encompassing the rural regions. It aims to achieve these with digital methods,” he continues.
States lead the way
The Andhra Pradesh state government was the first to initiate the digitisation of land records in the country. In the last few years however, many other state governments like that of Uttarakhand, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, have followed suit with similar initiatives. In 2008, the Indian government launched the National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NLRMP), an initiative that aimed to computerise all land records to improve transparency and accuracy in the real estate industry. This included records of rights, digitisation of maps, aerial view photography of the property, registration and connecting all land records of the state.
Governmental digitisation is most advantageous to buyers; however it’s also beneficial to other stakeholders. “If you are a licensed real estate broker, a property developer, an individual seller, or even a home buyer, the importance of using online real estate listing platforms, cannot be overemphasised,” opines Gupta.
Although many state governments have laid out plans to pursue digitisation, progress has been slow. The Maharashtra government has been an exception. In June 2014, the Maharashtra government announced that a total of 26 crore land records of the state, would be scanned and digitised. Thereafter, in May 2015, they declared that these records had been posted online for public access under the NLRMP.
Though online listing of property by the government is yet to catch up, private online sites like Housing.com, which has several lakh verified listings, are already trying to digitise the buying of homes and provide an experience that’s akin to purchasing a phone. However, more encouragement from the government to digitise land records, will go a long way in ensuring transparent home buying processes.
Key government declarations
2001: The Andhra Pradesh government initiated the digitisation of land records project and completed the pilot programme.
2006: The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) started working on single window system to hasten the processing of building plan applications.
2012: Delhi government launched the pilot programme of digitising land records to curb the illegal purchase and sale of property.
2013: Madhya Pradesh government started working on digitising land records to speed registration processes and reduce the time required to manually procure land documents.
2014: Gurgaon moved to digitise the land records to provide details of each piece of available land.
2015 August: To make the purchase or sale of land more transparent and accountable, the chief minister of Uttarakhand ordered officials to digitise the land records.