Land plays a vital role in urban and rural areas, often being the most valuable wealth that the ordinary person holds. In this context, it becomes imperative that landholders should have an authentic and tamper-proof record of land. The current land records management system borrows heavily from practices and laws framed during colonial India- albeit with small changes that depend on states. The result is close to two-thirds of all the pending cases in Indian courts are related to property disputes. Millions of state citizens cannot use their principal asset (property) as collateral to borrow from the formal financial system and unlock the potential that access to the formal financial system holds. Poor suffer the most.
Though the land records digitization program is in progress, certain aspects need a leapfrog jump, and modern technology adoption can help achieve this. Land records management is a state subject with various state departments working in silos churning out documents related to the same parcel of land. The entire process is complex, to say the least, and ends with the buyer having numerous documents that can be used to claim ownership, but none of them proving conclusive ownership.
The land transaction process happens in stages. Two of the most important steps being registration and mutation. Any attempt to provide the conclusive deed and inspiring confidence in the system's working requires creating a tamper-proof and robust interlink between mutation and registration.
There is a complex interplay of facts that need consideration here - Land is a valuable asset; thus, stakes are higher, registration and mutation process are riddled with complexities with no single document proving the ownership of land conclusively. Now, add to it the fact that prevalent land management practices do not leverage state of the art technology. This creates a perfect recipe for fraud. There also have been multiple instances of identity theft during these transactions.
We did extensive research into the land management systems in India, visiting various departments across multiple states, wherein we identified few common problems gripping India's land registration system. We feel obligated to underline them in the interest of people in general.
To overcome some of the problems highlighted in the previous section, we have developed a blockchain-based land records management system with the following capabilities:
We aim to create a single source of truth of all the land records through this system, effectively reducing the number of fraudulent transactions and disputes.