It has been around 40 days since Vishwanath Mujumale (58) became one of the first five farmers in India to receive property maps under the Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas (SVAMITVA) program.
Mujumale, a resident of Kondanpur village (where the majority of residents have the same surname), located in Haveli taluka, Pune district, fondly recalls how Prime Minister Narendra Modi had complimented him for having had his sanad (act) framed just in time for the virtual launch of the program on October 11.
The SVAMITVA program aims to generate property cards to facilitate the monetization of rural residential assets for credit and other financial services. Led by the Panchayati Raj Ministry, it aims to survey patches of inhabited rural land using drones and involve gram panchayats to cover the 6.62 lakh villages of India in four years. In Maharashtra, an average of 25 villages are surveyed in the districts of Pune, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad and Nagpur each.
By the end of this month, the villages of Thane, Nashik, Akola, Nanded and Wardha will also be covered, said Settlement Commissioner S Chockalingam. While four drones are currently in use, five more will be added to speed up the process.
Varsha Mujumale (33), who works in the gram panchayat office, is also expected to receive a property card in the coming days. She said the reason for her request was to avoid land disputes between neighbors and that the map could prove useful as a legal document.
Rajendra Gole, superintendent of land registers for Pune district, said: “This is the first time that even roads have been mapped. Not a single lot will go unnumbered. Based on the data generated by the municipal surveys, it will be easy for government departments to allocate land for the establishment of new public facilities such as primary health care centers and recreation centers, among others. This will save land from encroachment and improve tax collection. “
After the city’s investigation, 24 open public lands were identified and marked in Kondanpur alone. Villagers were quick to come up with ideas on what they can be developed for – including opening an English language school, playground, gym and stadium. covered.
Vikas Mujumale, a village wrestling champion, who now teaches sports and economics at a middle school in Pune, said: “The children in our village are barely reaching district level because they are forced to train. two days before the city field event. I had to move to Pune to practice wrestling. In order for more athletes to come out of our village, we need an open playground and a sports instructor.
Chockalingam said that with property cards, recognition of rights will be instantaneous and people should be able to benefit from loans. “Property cards are just regular cards that have been given out in the state for the past forty years. This scheme is just to speed up the process. There is no reason why banks should not grant loans on the basis of these cards. However, if there is any confusion, we will issue a clarification, ”he said.
He added: “The potential of this project to improve the village economy will need to be explored over a period of time. During our discussions with the Directorate of Rural Development, we proposed the establishment of a standard scheme, which would amount to reserving certain plots for public facilities depending on the size of the population and the available infrastructure. Some land should also be reserved taking into account the expansion of households in the coming years. The planning part of the project, in terms of policy making on these issues, needs to be worked on. “
During his interaction with the Prime Minister, Mujumale had requested that the extension of the benefit of property cards be considered for people living outside the village limits, in a large area of gaothan (open land of the government). While the prime minister publicly agreed to inform the state government of Mujumale’s request, department officials said the possibility had not yet been explored.
Over the next two and a half years, all 42,000 villages in Maharashtra can be covered using drone technology – it would have taken forty years otherwise, Chockalingam said. A major challenge in maintaining this pace is the shortage of investigators.
“We have proposed the creation of 422 temporary positions under active state government review. While drones can easily take images, officers are required to follow the protocol of sending timely notices to villages and resolving objections, among other things, ”he said.
Meanwhile, Mujumale said he had tried to avail of a Rs 10 lakh loan since March, but had made no progress in the absence of the required documents. “I was told that now it will not be a problem anymore,” he said. He and the other villagers hope this plan will bring them safety.
However, Mujumale attempted to initiate the process by using his property card at the nearest Bank of Baroda branch in Khanakpur, but a breakthrough remains elusive. “I have made at least four trips to the bank, but each time I am told they have not yet received instructions from the RBI on accepting the property card,” he said. declared.
He needs the loan for the renovation of his 200 square foot restaurant, the Kondaneshwar Hotel, located on top of a secluded cliff on the premises of the historic Sinhagad Fort. Its village is popular with tourists for being the closest to the fort, which was the site of many battles, especially the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670.
Several other people in his village have also requested the card, but have not yet obtained one. While property card distribution events have taken place in some villages, the village of Mujumale is awaiting its turn.
While the people of Kondanpur have secured funds through various cooperative societies in the past, this could be the first time that a person in the village has received a loan from a nationalized bank, Mujumale said. In a few days, nearly 140 private property cards will be distributed to the rest of the villagers through a public demonstration. The people of Kondanpur have yet to understand the different ways their cards could be used, but see it as a safety net.