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Article posted: 12/29/2012 7:24 AM

Indian land program shows tech's limits

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People crowd inside the government registrar's office to get their land registered, in Hoskote 19 miles from Bangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. For years, Karnataka's land records were a quagmire of disputed, forged documents maintained by thousands of tyrannical bureaucrats who demanded bribes to do their jobs. In 2002, there were hopes that this was about to change.

Associated Press/Dec. 10, 2012

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Yashoda Puttappa, left, a land rights activist, speaks to The Associated Press at her office in Anekal 40 25 miles from Bangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

Associated Press/Dec. 4, 2012

A Bhoomi program kiosk operator hands over the prints of land records to a villager in Hoskote 19 miles from Bangalore, Karnataka state, India. Bhoomi is a program that digitized Karnataka's 20 million handwritten land records. For years, Karnataka's land records were a quagmire of disputed, forged documents maintained by thousands of tyrannical bureaucrats who demanded bribes to do their jobs. In 2002, hopes emerged that this was about to change.

Associated Press/Dec. 10, 2012

About this Article

Bhoomi, a program that digitized Karnataka's 20 million handwritten land records, was hailed as a landmark use of computers to cut through bureaucracy and corruption. But a decade later, Karnataka remains plagued by land disputes that merely migrated from paper to the database, and even the program's creator says it could take 30 more years to sort it all out.
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    • People crowd inside the government registrar’s office to get their land registered, in Hoskote 19 miles from Bangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. For years, Karnataka’s land records were a quagmire of disputed, forged documents maintained by thousands of tyrannical bureaucrats who demanded bribes to do their jobs. In 2002, there were hopes that this was about to change.
    • Yashoda Puttappa, left, a land rights activist, speaks to The Associated Press at her office in Anekal 40 25 miles from Bangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
    • A Bhoomi program kiosk operator hands over the prints of land records to a villager in Hoskote 19 miles from Bangalore, Karnataka state, India. Bhoomi is a program that digitized Karnataka’s 20 million handwritten land records. For years, Karnataka’s land records were a quagmire of disputed, forged documents maintained by thousands of tyrannical bureaucrats who demanded bribes to do their jobs. In 2002, hopes emerged that this was about to change.
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