Systemic changes being brought out to protect defence land, says Antony

New Delhi, Feb 3 (ANI): Defence Minister AK Antony has said that the Ministry of Defence will shortly be framing policies covering the issue of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) in cases where the local laws require consultation with Local Military Authorities (LMA) for construction of buildings on lands adjacent to defence installations.

Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee, attached to his Ministry, he said, however, where a law does not so require, no NOC would be issued, especially to private builders directly by the Local Military Authorities.

Admitting 'gaps' in the land management system, Antony said, the Ministry is giving top priority to computerization of land records.

He said a number of decisions have been taken by the Ministry regarding land management and proper storage of important title related records.

'Without computerization it will be difficult to manage our vast land records', he added.

Elaborating on the difficult nature of the task of defence land management, Antony said, under the Constitution of India, land is a State subject.

' Even though we have our system of keeping land-title related records, yet there exists a revenue system in each State. If for a particular piece of land the ownership records tally both in our records and State records, there is no problem. But in some instances, this is not so. Moreover, vested interests lose no time in exploiting gaps in the system', he added.

Antony also disclosed that suitable amendments to the Works of Defence Act, 1903 which provides for restrictions on building activity around defence installations would be brought about to make it relevant to present day situations. The Act has not been amended for the last over 100 years.

He said, the government is also looking at the De-Hiring policy to avert any misuse.

Participating in the discussion, Members of Parliament made important suggestions for the safe up- keep of defence land and their utilization. They said that besides computerization, the Ministry should also do physical survey of land in its possession. (ANI)

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