ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government is seeking a loan of $150 million from the World Bank for a land mapping project for accessing land records and for housing programmes in the province, it is learnt.
The proposed project aims to achieve provision of a cadastral map (a map that shows the boundaries and ownership of land within specified area) linked to digital land records, access to land for housing and a unified modern land information system.
As a first step towards the land mapping, the project envisages installation of geodetic control points (permanent reference markers placed in the ground to support the production of data collection for surveying and mapping projects) and generating base maps (maps having only essential outlines and used for the plotting or presentation of specialised data of various kinds).
These geospatial (data that is directly linked to specific geographical locations) products could then be made accessible to a larger community for a variety of decisions which could contribute to the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) initiative in Pakistan, according to project details. The proposed project also aims to have revenue maps scanned and made available in digital form.
With regard to digital cadastral maps, the project intends to inform the public and in case disputes arise, safeguards have been promised to be placed for the mediation and resolution of the land mapping disputes. The new cadastral maps would then be linked to the land records in the Land Records Management and Information Systems.
Another major reason given for seeking the World Bank loan for this particular project is that both federal and Punjab governments say they will not be able to achieve the goal of “Naya Pakistan Housing Programme” of constructing nearly 2.6 million low-cost housing units in Punjab if the province’s urban land record challenges are not resolved.
Under the “Punjab Growth Strategy 2023”, the provincial government plans to increase the average number of housing units to 640,000 annually over the next five years.
Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2020