Yesterday it was reported that the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is in the process of adopting blockchain to prevent tampering of land records. Details of the project were discussed by Deputy Chief Minister (Revenue) Pilli Subash Chandra Bose in an interview with local news outlet The New Indian Express.
The minister said the state government was in talks with a few companies and a final decision would be taken after the winter session of the State Assembly.
“At present, everyone, right from the data entry operator, is changing land records, which ultimately lead to land disputes,” Bose told The New Indian Express. “But once getting purification of land records and implementing the blockchain technology, it will be impossible to tamper.”
Back in 2014, a new state of Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh. This had several implications in terms of governance and land records had to be shifted to new offices. The previous capital of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, is now part of Telangana. The state of Andhra Pradesh is currently in the process of setting up its new capital, Amravati, and has used blockchain for land acquisition in the area.
Quartz India published a report last year on the application of blockchain for developing Amaravati. One of the concerns discussed was that the land records could be tampered with before adding them to the blockchain, even if the blockchain itself is tamper-proof. Quartz said Andhra Pradesh was using a private blockchain, and there was no way for the landowners to monitor any changes made to the records.
Bose said officials from the Revenue Department, Chief Commissioner of Land Administration and others would be entrusted with the task of monitoring land records. These officials will hold the keys to access the land records. If any changes are made, the owner of the land will get a text message informing them of the modification. Based on this, the owner can lodge a complaint and the official who made the change can be tracked from the key used.
Meanwhile, other state governments in India are also trialing blockchain applications. Telangana is launching a blockchain system for food distribution to the poor. A few months ago, the state government of Maharashtra said it would use the technology for streamlining agriculture marketing, supply chains, vehicle registration and document management system.
Additionally, the country’s minister of state for electronics and IT said the Indian government might soon announce a national level blockchain framework for India.