MUMBAI: To bring transparency in land dealings, the Mumbai city collectorate has begun the process of digitizing old lease documents. The documents, some of them a century old, are being scanned and will be made available on an official website (mumbaicity.nic.in) along with key details for public viewing.
“We have managed to scan all these documents and are now linking key information like the area of the plot, ownership, rent to be paid and the last time when rent was paid. It was an exhaustive and time consuming process which was required,” said Ashwini Joshi, island city collector.
A total of 1,391 lease documents are available with the city collector’s office. The available lease documents are crucial, given the fact that they are the only copies available, as other documents were ruined in the fire that broke out in Mantralaya in 2012. Of the available documents, close to 800 city survey sheets too have been scanned. Many of these lease documents are for 99 or 999 years and they are valid for years to come; safeguarding them was a necessity.
There was also a demand from the public to put this information online, as it makes it easier to navigate through complex ownership details while making land purchases. Since these lease documents are very old, there might have been many changes in ownership, or in many cases, there might not be a single owner—the digitization of maps will help in knowing such details.
These properties will be plotted on Google maps, which will also help show the locations by their name. Currently, the locations are referred to by their city survey number, which the common public may not understand.
Credits ET Realty