This has resulted in frequent technical issues across sub-registrar offices; registration of properties in State affected
Over the last couple of months, registration of properties in the State has been hit frequently as technical glitches have led to shutdowns. While shutdowns have been reported from various sub-registrar offices across the State, what has alarmed the Revenue officials is frequent State-wide shutdowns that have delayed registration process.
What ails the Kaveri online system, which was once showcased as the government’s IT initiative success in land registration system, and also received national recognition? The Department of Stamps and Registration is struggling with multiple issues that are technical in nature.
KAVERI 1 online system is on Visual Basic (VB) in Windows XP platform that has become obsolete in the current times. It does not have any technical support from Microsoft. An urgent requirement is the development of centralised web-based system from the current individual application. “The upgrade has to be on a war footing. Otherwise, the registration will collapse one day,” a senior official said. “What is happening currently is fire fighting exercise after each shut down.”
The official, who is aware of developments, said it had become highly difficult to manage day-on-day affairs in 282 locations where registrations take place in the State. Technical persons from C-DAC authorised to address the issues are neither in the office of Inspector General of Registrations and Commissioner of Stamps, or at any of these locations. “Each time, the issue is flagged to the C-DAC Pune office from where the technical support comes remotely,” he said.
KAVERI 1, developed in 2003, is being maintained by Pune-based C-DAC. It won several awards for IT initiative in public space.
Meanwhile, an effort to develop KAVERI 2 since 2013 by C-DAC has not yielded results. The department and C-DAC entered into an agreement for development of KAVERI 2 and maintain it for five years at the cost of around ₹5 crore. This was scheduled to be completed in less than a year’s time. However, due to various reasons, work on KAVERI 2 did not take off and the project has been shelved. The C-DAC is learnt to have disbanded the team already over delays.
In early 2020, C-DAC had indicated to the government that it wanted to withdraw from the Kaveri project by December 2020, but later, pursued to be continued till another vendor is identified.
It is not the software alone that ails the system since the department that brings in a huge chunk of revenue to the exchequer in the way of registration revenues sits on very old hardware and power back-up systems. Karvy Data Management Services, which bought HCL Infosystem that was maintaining the hardware in 2018, has failed to maintain the hardware up to the required levels as well as supplying consumables to all 282 sub-registrar offices.
“The net result is that UPS and battery systems are in a non-repairable condition and registration gets affected during power outage. The unscheduled power outage also results in data loss,” said an officer. Further, Karvy is learnt to have made a fresh proposal at 56% higher cost in maintenance,” the official pointed out, adding that it is yet to be accepted.
An internal government communication seen by The Hindu shows that a combination of old hardware and inadequate power back up is creating bad sectors whenever there is a crash, and it takes the department several days to restore crucial data.
After its experience with C-DAC not going very well, the State government has decided to develop KAVERI 2 through the Centre for Smart Governance (CSG).
While the NIC was also considered, the CSG has been identified since land is a State subject and developing a State-level module would be better by the CSG. The upgraded KAVERI 2 is likely to be rolled out this year, and C-DAC is being convinced to continue the maintenance support system till CSG takes over.
The CSG will not only develop upgraded KAVERI 2, but also come up with development of integrated land management system, which will be completed in two years’ time.