Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Decade After Adarsh Came To Light, Finally They Digitise Defence Land Records!!


The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has directed the Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE) to immediately conduct a reality check on ground to determine the status of defence land all over the country. Announcing this at a function here last evening, where he released a compact disc containing data base on defence land records, Shri Antony said the proposed land audit will go a long way in tightening our land management control system. The Institution of a Land Audit was one of the suggestions made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.

The land audit will cover a wide spectrum of issues including updation of land records; survey, demarcation and protection of defence lands by way of erection of boundary pillars and telling the records with actual ground situation; efficient usage of defence lands; encroachment on defence lands, the extent and reasons thereof, effectiveness of encroachment and removal actions. The audit will also verify the usage of defence lands on a lease to institutions. In the first phase, DGDE will carry out land audit in the Southern Command from the current financial year.

Shri Antony asked Defence Estate officials to be vigilant against encroachments on defence lands and foil any attempts by unscrupulous elements to fraudulently claim some pieces of defence land as theirs. “While ensuring that defence lands are protected from unauthorized occupation or illegal claims, it is also your responsibility to ensure that no public land is occupied in an unauthorized manner without following due procedures”, he told the officers.

Shri Antony asked the officials to pursue vigorously title disputes in courts with all sincerity. “As land is a precious and rare commodity, title disputes in courts must be vigorously pursued to the correct and logical conclusion”.

Shri Antony also informed the gathering that MoD had taken a decision to guard strategically located installations such as defence lands, camping grounds and old airfields by nearby military units. In cases where this may not be possible, sufficient resources would be placed with the Defence Estates Department to look after them.

The Defence Minister announced that MoD has approved two projects. The first project seeks to introduce modern surveying technology in defence estates and to complete the work of survey in all defence lands in a phased manner. The second project is for computerization to scan, index and microfilming all defence land title related records. This project would make all documents pertaining to land title easily retrievable and facilitate their preservation.

He said the ministry has approved the establishment of an archival unit and resource centre at Raksha Sampda Bhawan. He assured that funds will not be allowed to become a constraint but the accountability of proper utilization of these funds will be the onerous collective responsibility of all officers concerned.

The function was attended among others by the Minster of State for Defence Dr MM Pallam Raju, Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Shekhar Aggarwal, DG NIC Shri BK Gairola and the Director General Defence Estates Shri Ashok Kumar Harnal.

It may be recalled that the first Raksha Bhoomi Software version 1.0 was jointly developed by the DGDE & NIC and launched by Shri MM Pallam Raju in November 2006. This software has undergone constant upgradations since its initial launch and with its latest version 3.3, the entire 17 lac acres of defence land records have been successfully digitized. The standalone Raksha Bhoomi software provides complete statutory details on each separate piece of defence land inside and outside the Cantonments. This will enable the three Services and other Organs of the Ministry of Defence to access land related data on real time basis which will result in effective land management and perspective planning.

Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE), in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre (NIC), have completed the digitization of records of all lands recorded in the General Lands Registers (for lands located within the notified Cantonments) and Military Lands Registers (for lands located outside the notified Cantonments). In the process, all defence owned lands, spread across the length and breadth of the country, have been computerized.

DPR

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