Hyderabad: Union Minister of State for
Defence MM Pallam Raju on Monday said he was expecting a survey
report on encroachments done on the defence lands in eight
sectors across the country by the end of March next year.
The Ministry of Defence had ordered the survey
following largescale encroachments on 17.56 lakh acres of land
owned by it. To its shock, the ministry had identified more
than 12,000 acres of land that was encroached illegally.
"The total defence land holding in the country is
17.56 lakh acres, out of which 1.6 lakh acres is in 62
cantonments. Now, the amount of encroached land is little over
12,000 acres, which has happened historically.... They took up
for survey in about eight circles. The survey report should be
(out) by the end of this financial year," Raju said at a press
He said the ministry was taking all steps to conserve
its valuable land by computerising all the land records.
Defence Minister AK Antony held two meetings in this
regard and ordered a resurvey to be done for all defence
lands, Raju added.
Replying to a query that if the private sector in the
country is hesitant to venture into the defence sector because
of staggering costs, longer project time and complex
technologies, Raju replied in affirmative.
"Quality norms are stringent and volumes are low and
inconsistent. Unfortunately, many of these factors are true.
To be successful, we need excellent talent pool, including
engineers, good infrastructure, high quality standards and the
ability to deliver goods that suit various climatic conditions
and widely difficult locations," he said.
The minister was chief guest in a function in which
Avantel, a city-based firm, handed over 12 units of mobile
satellite service (MSS)-based communication systems to Boeing.
The US aircraft maker will use these systems in its
P-8i reconnaissance aircraft to be supplied to the Indian