Mutation and updating of land records in Bangladesh: a study at Gazipur sadar upazila
AuthorIslam, Muhammad Ariful
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The government of Bangladesh has taken some steps for strengthening and transforming the public service to meet the need for a responsive and resilient public service that will meet citizens’ specific needs, interests and demand. Issuance of a circular on mutation for land offices is a step forward in this regard. In April 2010, the Ministry of Land issued the circular fixing service process, time and fees of mutation of land records in land offices. According to the direction of Ministry of land all Upazila/ circle land offices and union land offices are implementing the circular. The main objective of the circular is to make land administration more accountable, responsive, transparent, people friendly and to ensure quality of service delivery in land offices. It aims to empower citizens by mentioning their rights, privileges and duties. To examine the current situation of the circular’s implementation and identify the problems in implementation of the circular, an upazila land office was selected as research area. Both primary and secondary sources of data were used to get comprehensive picture of the reality. The researcher contacted different participants; officials, staff of land offices and citizens to gather information. Besides, mutation case files and other secondary sources were examined to collect data. Questions were formulated to explore the problems faced by the citizens as well as the organization itself. The officers of AC Land office, staff, A.D.C (Revenue), D C and all the citizens taking services from AC Land office were selected as population. The desired sample size was 60. The sample was selected by purposive sampling technique. Of the 60 sample size 45 persons were from service receiver, 10 from service providers and 5 high level land officials of the district including ADC (Revenue) and Deputy Commissioner of that district. So, 45 citizens and 15 officers and staff were interviewed for that purpose. The qualitative and quantitative analyses were followed to analyze the data synthetically and statistically. The study found that, the implementation of the circular in upazila land offices is not satisfactory. Service providers are not following the instructions of the circular and the people even do not know about the circular. From the findings it is evident that even after two years of its issuance the circular has not made any substantial dent on old colonial service delivery mechanism. This attitude of service providers is weakening the effectiveness of the circular. On the other hand, the citizens are totally ignorant of the circular and procedure. The complexity of land management system, citizens unawareness, shortage of resources, conflicting rules and regulations, colonial approach, lack of training, lack of freedom of opinion, workload, lack of logistic support, corruption in land sector etc. are working as bar to implement the circular. Those factors, therefore, are constraining the successful implementation of the circular in land offices.