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Taking IT route, Haryana gets better of graft, touts

Jaideep Sarin/ IANS |

Revenue or tehsil offices in states are dreaded by most people as they bring to mind images of corruption, harassment and never-ending queues. But in Haryana, thanks to use of information technology (IT), a quiet change is taking place.

Tehsil offices in various districts of Haryana have undergone a makeover. These offices no longer look like locked-in-time-warp offices where harried people come to get their property transferred or registered.

Using technology, the Haryana government is easing out touts, marginalising middlemen and curbing graft – the things that had become part and parcel of every revenue office.

Touch-screens, computers, LCDs flashing names of appointees, help-desks and waiting halls with adequate seating arrangements have come to define the present-day tehsil, courtesy the recent launch of e-registration of property by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Starting from Rohtak and followed by Karnal district, the new facility has been embraced by tehsils in all districts in Haryana now.

"The idea behind all this is to make life of the man in the street easy and delivery of services hassle-free," Khattar said.

"If you want to get property registered in Haryana, just go to the relevant tehsil where the new facility will serve you both as a friend and guide. For all types of deeds (except GPA, SPA and Will), just visit the help desk.

"It will guide you on what all documents are to be prepared. There is a ready template for all kinds of deeds to be followed; and even a person who would typewrite these for you, of course, for a consideration," a state government official told IANS here.

The scene of un-ending queues, missing officials and the old and worn-down look of the ‘sarkari’ tehsil office has made way for a more swank facility. People coming to tehsils are being given a feeling that they are not unwanted or that they would be exploited to the hilt.

"The earlier modus operandi of bribing one’s way through these offices, babus and files is now giving way to the help-desk guiding people about documents, fixing appointments and ensuring that harassment is minimised. Entries are made through various softwares to the satisfaction of all," Trilok Bhatia, a resident of Kurukshetra town, told IANS.

Shekhar Vidyarthi, deputy commissioner of Rohtak, said: "The people-friendly measure of e-registration has helped in curbing the menace of graft to a great extent and shall go a long way in making the lives of the people easy and delivery of services hassle-free. We are working to further fine-tune the system."

"In Rohtak tehsil alone, between Dec 25 last year and Feb 11, 1,809 appointments were issued, 1,692 deeds were registered and 1,504 were delivered," Vidyarthi pointed out.

J. Ganesan, deputy commissioner of Karnal, said: "The system has taken off well in Karnal. On given days, the tehsil awaits people to pick up their registration deeds not vice versa. In Karnal tehsil alone, (between Dec 25, 2014, and Feb 11, 2015) 1,888 people sought appointments while 1,538 registries were done."

People coming to the revamped tehsil offices are also giving their feedback to officers on how things can be improved further.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at [email protected])