B’luru archives portal on the anvilThe government is also planning to set up a web portal of Bengaluru archives on the lines of one in Delhi, where people can access centuriesold land records of the city’s heritage online.“The portal will increase longevity of property records which are over 150 years old and help scholars find missing links in history,” said revenue department officials. According to a historian, property registration documents are available in various languages, including Halegannada (old Kannada) in the Old Mysuru region, Urdu in Hyderabad-Karnataka, Marathi in Mumbai-Karnataka and Telugu in parts of Ballari and Kolar.For more than a year, Mysuru resident Sarojamma has been trying to get the encumbrance certificate (EC) of her ancestral property in north Bengaluru.She has faced multiple hurdles. Firstly, the sub-registrar’s office, which maintains land records, was difficult to locate. Once she tracked it down, officials kept dillydallying and failed to provide the EC on the promised dates. Though Sarojamma claims to have paid bribe to the officials several times, she hasn’t been able to get the work done.Sarojamma is among many who have to suffer at the hands of revenue officials for a document which the government now plans to digitise to make things easier. The stamps and registration department is set to kickstart the mammoth task of scanning around 6.5 crore pages of property documents stored in the record rooms of 43 sub-registrar offices in Bengaluru within a year. The trial will begin from the Gandhinagar sub-registrar’s office.While land documents from 2003 have been digitised, the move is aimed at scanning documents between 1865 and 2003. KV Thrilok Chandra, inspector general of registration and commissioner of stamps, said the goal is to make old property documents available to the general public at the click of a mouse. “The government has sanctioned funds and a tender has been floated to appoint an agency that would scan the documents,” he added.Officials said scanners and Optical Character Recognition would be utilised for digitising the documents. According to department sources, documents are stored in volumes of books. The department began operations during the Madras Presidency in 1865 with Colonel Robert Mackenzie Macdonald being appointed as the first inspector general of registration.The move is expected to reduce the burden on officials, who have to manually search for old records stored in dark rooms to prepare certified copies of completion certificates and encumbrance certificates which are used in property transactions as evidence of free title or ownership.