At present, three different Ministries practice land administration and management in Bangladesh, namely Ministry of Land (MoL); Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (MLJPA); and Ministry of Establishment (MoE).
Land record system in Bangladesh forms an integral part of land administration, encompassing preparation of Record-of-Rights (ROR) through surveying and mapping of land plots, registration of deeds during transfer of land and updating ownership records. Directorate of Land Record and Survey (DLRS) under the MoL prepares ROR. However, updating of ROR (mutation) is done by the Upazila Administration which is under the jurisdiction of MoE. Furthermore, registration of transfer deed is under obligation of Registration Department that is under the MLJPA.
Land record preparation, upgrading of ROR and land transfer registration are the integral parts of land administration and these should be coordinated well enough. However, these offices work separately. The DLRS is entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out cadastral surveys and preparation of ROR. A revised mauza map showing location, area and characteristics and a khatian indicating ownership, area and character of land are the two parts of ROR. The DLRS conducts surveys and settlement operations through Zonal Settlement offices and Upazila Settlement offices. A survey team consisting of two Surveyors and one Chainman conduct the survey operation. The steps of hearing objections and appeal are done by Sub-Assistant Settlement Officer (SASO) and Assistant Settlement Officer (ASO) respectively. Survey operation consists of the following phases: traverse survey, Kistwar (Plot to Plot) survey, preliminary record writing (Khanapuri), demarcation of boundary, local explanation (Bujharat), attestation (Tasdik), draft publication, disposal of objection, appeals, final Junk (checking), printing and publication of Khatian . Furthermore, revisional settlement for upgrading land record is undertaken by the settlement offices. Land records that have been prepared through revisional settlement operation are reliable.
Land registration is a deed of maintenance of a public register, which is a record of an isolated transactions. Sub-Register (SR) registers transfer of any parcel of land through a deed with stamp on the property value as Immovable Property Transfer Tax (IPTT). When any deed is registered in Registration office, Land Transfer (LT) notice is to be sent to the Office of Assistant Commissioner’s (AC, Land) Office . Mutation is the process of revising and updating the ROR on transfer of land ownership and on subdivision and amalgamation of landholdings. The AC (Land) working under Deputy Commissioner (DC) updates or revises partially these land records through mutation process. There are two ways of mutation:
i)Mutation according to LT; and
ii) Mutation in response to application to the Upazila Land office.
After the finalization of land records in survey operation the DLRS sends khatians, mauza maps to the DC office that preserves them in the District Record Room. At present, a Record Room is also maintained in the AC (Land) Office. These Land Records provide the base to conduct further survey and preparation of master plan, structure plan, infrastructure development plan, valuation of property tax, etc. Furthermore, these records are used as the base for functioning of public and private development and by the companies providing utility services.
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