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Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and UN-Habitat inaugurates GIS labs for computerization and digitization process of land records.

3rd October, 2012---Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: UN-Habitat with the support of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa inaugurates a Geographic Information Systems laboratory for the digitization of land records.

UN-Habitat has successfully established a Geographic Information Systems Laboratory for the digitization of land records in Charsadda, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. After the floods of 2010 many issues regarding land ownership had surfaced due to the loss of physical demarcations of land. Many existing hand-made records were damaged or destroyed and could no longer be used as a reference to resolve these issues. The necessity of digitized land records was recognized by the Government of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and under the Pakistan Settlements Flood Recovery Project, funded by the Government of Japan, UN-Habitat developed a digitization software and provided technical and technological assistance to equip the lab.

The lab was inaugurated by the Provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary affairs, KP, Barrister Arshad Abdullah while addressing the guests and media said that the old land records were outdated and had lost their significance. Many problems of land management were being faced by the people and the judicial system which will be considerably lessened by simplifying these records. Transparency and accuracy will be brought back to the land management system. He said that he hoped the Government and UN-Habitats efforts of digitizing would benefit the common man and be replicated in other areas as well.

Country Programme Manager, UN-Habitat Pakistan Mr. Siamak Moghaddam said that the positive effects of land record digitization would be seen for years to come. He added that this was not a UN-Habitat initiative, but a facilitation that was provided to the government due to the land rights problems being faced by the people. This was possible due to the support of the Government of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and he hoped that the programme would further evolve in the years to come.

The project aims to minimize inaccuracies and inefficiencies of traditional manual records, many of which dating back to colonial times and prepared by Patwaris for the allocation of land and titles to potential owners. This is the first time in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa for these records to be computerized and replaced by satellite images and maps and aims to ensure transparency and accountability of land record keeping in Pakistan.

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