POST TIME: 11 September, 2019 11:06:11 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 12 September, 2019 01:00:02 AM
Make land administration transparent

Make land administration transparent

The country’s land administration is plagued with corruption and the people in general are well aware of it. But this time the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has come up with a vivid picture of what is going on in this sector. In its just published research study “Ways to overcome obstacles for good governance in registration and services sector land documents” the TIB revealed that service seekers had to pay bribes starting from Tk. 500 to Tk. 500,000 at each and every step to get land-related services.

The corruption watchdog also pointed out that internally the land administration is also infested with bribes that range from Tk. 20,000 to Tk. 2000,000. This money changes hands for recruitment, promotion and other processes. The pervading corruption has not only made getting the services difficult for people, it is also creating more land disputes between people in the country as to the ownership of land. False documents and deeds are now galore.

While real owners of land are often seen moving from office to office for taking hold of their pieces of land, corrupt elements make benefits—through collusion with people of relevant agencies including the law enforcement one—from lands that they legally do not own. Victims often do not approach law courts for settlement of land disputes because disposal of such cases takes unusually long time with huge cost involved.

Reportedly, in the past stealing of volumes of land records got caught in the lenses of CCTV camera and reports of theft were published in the mainstream media. Without internal help, this kind of crimes can hardly be imaginable. It’s really disconcerting that land records in the country are in such a defenceless state.

For addressing people’s grievances of all kinds, emanating from the land administration, it is urgent to make the land sector transparent and free of corruption. In this regard the recommendations provided by the TIB should be taken care of. If the land administration’s institutional capacity is enhanced with bringing the administration and land management under a complete digitized system, it can be hoped that graft may significantly get reduced.

The countries that have freed themselves from corruption from their land administrations have worked on this. But in Bangladesh, there are corrupt officials who do not want this total digitisation of the department. Their unholy influence must be overcome.