The state government’s revenue officers have responded to and given solutions to 5,000 queries from citizens on land related problems on a unique website created by officials to help people with resolving their land matters.
The website now has over 2500 officers on board and dozens of land related queries from across the state are answered every week. The website, maharashtracivilservice(dot)org was designed and developed by a senior Deputy Collector (Suburban Mumbai) Dr. Vikas Naik, a veterinarian by education but a tech savvy official who worked extensively in the Vidarbha and Marathwada region.
“People from my native place would often ask me about land problems, which led me to think about having and developing a website where people from anywhere could ask questions. On the website, people can raise questions on land transfers, mutation, changing names on property cards, acquisition, succession, inheritance and they are answered by officers with solutions, suggesting the correct process in 4-5 days. Citizens can then take the answers to their local offices and follow the process,” said Dr Naik.
The website is supported by the Maharashtra Civil (Revenue) Services Organisation whose members sign up on the website and answer queries. The website’s Janpith tab is most popular where visitors ask questions, and another section Dnyan-Kendra features laws and acts related to land matters, Government Resolutions (GRs), books and presentations.
“This is a voluntary web-based service started by a few Deputy Collector’s after seeing hundreds of land-related problems and lack of awareness about land laws .
Many queries are also related to deletion of daughters’ names from 7/12 extracts. Any revenue department officer can sign up, and start answering queries based on his expertise. They offer free help,” Dr Naik adds.
While there are many officers who have signed up, any registered Revenue Department officer can answer queries, some like Kiran Panbude, Deputy Collector, working in the Stamps Department are most prompt in replying to citizens.
Officials said that they receive many queries where property rights are denied to daughters. “Many questions are related to the deletion of daughters’ names from the 7/12 extract, even though the amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 2005, gave daughters’ property rights as that of sons in the coparcenary property. People get answers to their questions from experienced officers with domain knowledge and experience acquired by dealing with complicated land matters,” Dr Naik explains.
The website is in Marathi, so it is easy for people from regular areas to access and raise questions too.