Bangalore: Bangalore will be the latest city in Karnataka, after Mysore, Shimoga, Bellary and Mangalore, to offer property title cards when it seeks bids for surveys in 50 of the city’s 198 wards.

The drive will cover some 400,000 of the estimated 1.8 million properties in Bangalore.

The cards will be issued under the state’s Urban Property Ownership Records (UPOR) project, which aims to survey and establish the current owner of any given property in urban Karnataka.

K.V. Rudresh, joint director in the department of survey, settlement and land records, said that while he had not received any official notification, a meeting of the empowered committee headed by chief secretary S.V. Ranganath cleared the proposal to seek bids for the survey in Bangalore. The tender documents for Bangalore were ready and tenders would be issued in the next 10 days, he said.

Titling refers to formalizing ownership of property, making it easier for the owner to commercially leverage the land. Under the current system, the government does not formally declare or even ascertain ownership of property.

It only witnesses a property transaction between two parties and certifies that revenue has been collected for the transaction. It is this certificate of registration that goes by different names in various states and passes for the property title in India. It’s called khata in Karnataka.

The process of buying property in India is fraught with risk, primarily because the government stopped maintaining records of ownership when property taxes became a negligible source of government revenue. Mysore was last surveyed in the 1960s.

Mysore is the largest of the four cities where UPOR cards have been distributed. The state has already issued 22,500 draft cards, Rudresh said. The cards will be made permanent soon, he said.

Under the programme, draft cards will be issued first, after which they will be made permanent, unless there are complaints.

A. Ravindra, former chief secretary, said issuing the cards in Bangalore would not be easy. But the card, while stopping short of an explicit government guarantee, would ensure more clarity and less scope for litigation, he said.

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