Despite 9.16 cr hits, Dharni portal continues to be a nightmare, Congress to protest

The Congress leaders also demanded that the Title Guarantee Act, Forest Rights Act, and Tenant Farmers Act be implemented.

By Sumavarsha kandula  Published on  21 Nov 2022 2:45 PM GMT
Despite 9.16 cr hits, Dharni portal continues to be a nightmare, Congress to protest

Hyderabad: TPCC chief Revanth Reddy and Telangana Congress leaders met Telangana chief secretary Somesh Kumar on Monday in Hyderabad to discuss issues related to Dharani portal. In the application submitted to the chief secretary, the Congress leaders demanded that the Dharani portal be rolled back and the earlier system be followed.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Revanth Reddy, alleging violation of privacy of landowners, said, "Land records are today managed by a private enterprise. They are not with the state government or the revenue department. This violates the privacy of landowners."

Regarding the Dharani portal issues, he said, "We demand that the state government look into the issue of wrongly recorded lands and resolve them immediately."

He further added, "Twenty-four lakh acres of assignment lands are missing from the Dharani portal. Due to this, people from marginalised communities—Dalits and tribals—are in distress. They are neither getting Rythu Bandhu when alive nor Rythu Bheema after their death."

He further said that if the government doesn't act immediately, they will hold protests on 24 November at the MRO offices in every mandal. "Congress party will protest along with people affected by the Dharani portal, and the farmers who did not yet receive any help from the government will join us," he added.

The TPCC chief further said they will hold similar protests at every Assembly constituency on 30 November and at district collectorates on 5 December.

Speaking about the loan waiver schemes of the state government, Revanth said, "We demand the government waive farmers' loans. This coming budget is the last chance for the government to do that."

The Congress leaders also demanded that the Title Guarantee Act, Forest Rights Act, and Tenant Farmers Act be implemented.

Mr. Revanth added, "The government also promised 'Podu land pattas' (title deeds) which should be done immediately, and tenant farmers should be included in the government schemes."

Criticising the BJP and the TRS, he said they are creating unnecessary issues to divert attention from their administrative failures.

It's the people who suffer

Dharani portal is a state government initiative that digitises all land-related functions. The portal has witnessed 9.16 crore hits, with more than 26 lakh transactions completed within two years of its launch. However, on the ground, many people have faced issues with the portal.

Ms. Sumitra is one of the many affected by the Dharani portal. She runs the NGO Ankuram Society in Bogaram village under Keesara mandal in Medchal district.

Speaking to NewsMeter, she explained, "During the initial phase of the Raithu Bandhu scheme, we were issued a new version of Pattadar passbooks and also a cheque of Rs. 4,500 under the scheme. As we are not farmers, we went to the then RDO to return the cheque. At that time, they asked us to return our passbooks too. Since we were ignorant and frightened, we immediately handed over our passbooks."

She added, "Later, our well-wishers and legal advisors cautioned us to get the passbooks back, but when we reached out, they said our passbook is not there. Even after hundreds of appeals to collectors, RDOs, MROs, and even to higher authorities, there is no result."

Speaking about her experience with Dharani portal, Ms. Sumitra continued, "Even after Dharani (portal) came into existence, our Ankuram (NGO) name is not uploaded in online records. We went from pillar to post to get it done. The MRO office says they are not responsible for the disappearance of our records in Dharani. When we went to Mee Seva they asked for passbooks to get the details online. Even to apply for new passbooks in Dharani, we have to give them earlier passbooks. The earlier ones are never found."

Social activist Gummireddy Rajkumar explained, "Many patta lands were wrongly added to the POB (Prohibitory Order Book) under section 22A. For example, if there was a court case, ceiling, Bhoodan, endowment, Waqf, or government land of one gunta in that survey number, the whole survey number was automatically locked in Dharani. This meant that farmers couldn't sell their land for emergency needs."

In the letter that Mr. Rajkumar submitted to CM KCR, he enlisted the issues faced by the people.

Speaking about the issues with digitisation, he said the Dharani portal is still missing a lot of survey numbers. "In the Dharani portal, the names of old pattadars who sold their land before 2020 show up. These people are taking advantage of the situation and trying to sell their land again. Rythu Bandhu is also given to layouts and plotted lands," he said.

Mr. Rajkumar also suggested steps to solve the issues in his letter to the CM.

Talking about the steps to be taken at the ground level, he added, "Grama sabhas, Revenue Sadassulu, and Jamabandi should be held in each village to clean up and update the Record of Rights in Dharani. Set up land tribunals at the state/district level to ensure that disputes about the land under different land laws are settled quickly. The land tribunal should have members from both the judicial and administrative branches."

About software issues in the portal, he suggested, "Changing the Dharani portal software service provider to well-known IT companies like NIC, TCS, and Infosys, etc., might be better."

He further said, "Now the portal is managed by a start-up company who owns TerraCIS Technologies Ltd. called Quantela, which was founded in 2015 and doesn't have any experience managing large projects like Dharani."

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