Press Trust of india

Centre surveys 17.78 lakh acres of defence land using advanced technologies

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New Delhi: In a first such comprehensive exercise since Independence, the government has surveyed 17.78 lakh acres of defence land using the latest technologies such as three-dimensional modelling, drone and satellite imageries.

The defence ministry said the mammoth exercise of surveying about 1.61 lakh acres of defence land inside cantonments and 16.17 lakh acres outside cantonments was started in October 2018 and is now completed.

“It is a remarkable achievement since, for the first time after Independence, entire defence land has been surveyed by using latest survey technology,” it said.

The ministry said the magnitude of landholding, the location of land in approximately 4,900 pockets, inaccessible terrain in many places and involvement of various stakeholders made it one of the “largest” land surveys in India.

It said modern survey technologies such as Electronic Total Station, Differential Global Positioning System as well as drone and satellite imageries were used to ensure “reliable, robust and time-bound” outcomes.

“For the first time, drone imagery-based survey technology was used for survey of lakhs of acres of defence land in Rajasthan. The entire area was surveyed with the help of Surveyor General of India in a matter of weeks, which earlier used to take years,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said satellite imagery-based survey was carried out for the first time for many defence land pockets.

“3D Modelling techniques for better visualisation of defence land in the hilly areas have also been introduced by utilising Digital Elevation Model in association with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC),” it said.

The Directorate General Defence Estates that operates under the Ministry of Defence was the nodal agency for the survey.

The ministry said out of 17.78 lakh acres, 8.90 lakh acres was surveyed during the last three months.

“As a part of the survey, a project for real-time change detection system based on the ‘Time series Satellite imagery’ for detection of encroachments on defence land has also been initiated,” the ministry said.

It said a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on land survey and GIS mapping has also been established in National Institute of Defence Estates Management for capacity building of Defence Estates officials in the field of latest survey technologies.

The CoE aims to be an apex survey institution capable of imparting training of various levels to the officers of central and state government departments.

“This mammoth exercise of survey of nearly 18 lakh acres of defence land spread pan India, which hitherto rested on the fulcrum of herculean human efforts, is a unique example of leveraging emerging technologies for land survey in a short time in line with the central government’s emphasis on ‘Digital India’,” the ministry said.

It said as per the records maintained by Defence Estates Offices, the ministry owns land measuring about 17.99 lakh acres, out of which approximately 1.61 lakh acres is situated within the 62 notified cantonments.

About 16.38 lakh acres is spread across many pockets outside the cantonments.

“Out of 16.38 lakh acres land, about 18,000 acres is either state hired land or is proposed for deletion from records on account of transfer to other government departments,” the ministry said.

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