Hyderabad: In a first, the Telangana government will utilise blockchain technology to enhance the security of its digitised revenue/land records. The move is aimed at ensuring that the state government’s data is tamper-proof and secure, especially since agricultural land records in over 10,000 revenue villages are being updated before the implementation of an input subsidy scheme from next year.

The usage of blockchain technology is part of the Telangana government’s initiative to not just update land records, but to also have dynamic upgradation of data as and when there are changes or transactions, said Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary (information and technology, electronics and communication), Telangana government.

“In the past, databases have been tampered with. For example, someone might (fraudulently) register 10 acres instead of two. So to prevent such misuses, because financial transactions take place with them, we are providing an additional sense of security," said Ranjan. He added that the National Institute of Smart Governance has been engaged for the Request for Proposal (RFP) selection.

Ranjan said the IT department will prepare a database which will utilise geographic information systems (GIS) to map the properties of land owners in its records.

This is being done as about 20 % of land records in villages across the state were found be erroneous in a pilot exercise taken up by the state revenue department.

Currently, the Telangana government is verifying and updating land records before starting the input subsidy scheme, under which land-owning farmers will get Rs4,000 per acre (in both Rabi and Kharif seasons) to buy things like fertilizers.

Manish Kumar, co-founder of Regko, a Mumbai-based company that provides blockchain-based digital asset registry solutions, said that Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments are “front-runners" in using the new technology. “Implementing blockchain technology is a reform. Another government that has reformed on property deals is Rajasthan," he added.

Kumar said that blockchain will help reduce litigations in courts as well. “A lot of the litigations will be cleared, and the cost, time and effort of transactions will also decrease considerably. This is a bold move by the government. We are currently engaged with a few progressive state governments," he said.

Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, an open-data expert who is currently working with the Telangana government as a consultant, said that blockchain is like distributed computing, which helps trace transactions from the day they start. “It cannot be tinkered with. Most civil cases in courts are property related, and if we have this (technology), then it will be easy for the judiciary as well," he added.

Ranjan said that work to create a dynamic database and add blockchain security to it will be taken up around the end of December, when the government completes the land survey.

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