With the growing threat of enroachment and sale of the same plot to multiple buyers, there is always a threat of enroachment of your plot of land you have bought. Obtaining Encumberance Certificate is one of the ways to ensure that your name still remains as the owner of that plot in Government records and no further sale has taken place after you bought. How to get the EC when you have these Government departments work only Monday to Friday, 10 to 5 and you dont have time to go? Or if the plot of land is situated outside Chennai, you may not be able to make frequent visits to the Registrar's office.
To remove this difficulty, Government of Tamilnadu has introduced sometime back the online application facility for obtaining Encumberance Certificate through their website http://www.tnreginet.net/. You can apply for the Encumberance Certificate for any property within Tamilnadu sitting in the comfort of your home. The charges are very nominal and it goes to the Government. It helps to eliminate the need for bribing the Peon in the Sub-Registrar's office or the need of going through the brokers.
I applied for an Encumberance Certificate for my plot of land and it got delivered within 7 working days from the date of application. There is door delivery of the Encumberance Certificate by the Registration Department staff and you have to hand over the EC search charges to him, for which he issues a receipt. As few old habits die hard, the total amount paid to the Government was Rs136 but the person who came to deliver demanded and got Rs50 as service charges. Service charge is not part of the charges, but he just scribbles something on the receipt and hands it over to you.
The other advantage is that you dont have to be an owner of the plot to apply for encumberance certificate. Even if you are planning to buy a piece of land from somebody, you can apply for the EC online. You need to have the details of the Survey number, plot number, village name and the details of the sub-registrar office.
Imagine getting a EC for a piece of land in Tuticorin sitting in Chennai. It cant become better. This is the true e-governance and I am happy to report that it works. Hats off to Tamilnadu State Government.