New Delhi, India, 8 November 2006 – In a move to check the encroachment of sprawling cantonments and estates, the Defence Ministry has begun computerising defence land records across the country. The project was inaugurated today by the Minister of State for Defence Mr. M Pallam Raju at the Delhi Cantonment.
The total defence land holdings located inside 62 cantonments are estimated to be about 17 lakh acres (6,87,990 hectares). Raju told reporters that under the new plan, the computerisation will involve forming a geographic information system and all survey and revenue records would be digitized and integrated into a land records database at a cost of Rs 2.52 crore ($550,000). The software for this has been christened RakshaBhoomi.
The defence estates department is undertaking the project as a joint venture with Chennai-based National Informatics Centre (NIC). Amidst urbanisation across the country, defence estates in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Goa are being increasingly eyed by the land mafia and widespread encroachments are reported every year.