Exercise caution to avoid Sukna-like scams: Min to Def Estates
New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony on Sunday advised the Defence Estates Department to "draw lessons" from ongoing probes in Adarsh and Sukna land scams before issuing no-objection certificates to land-related projects.
"While issuing NOCs, you must draw lessons from some of the enquiries that are going on regarding malpractices," Antony said.
He said the Defence Ministry has issued new guidelines regarding issue of such NOCs to ensure a balance between security concerns of the forces and the right of public to undertake constructions on their land.
Addressing the first Defence Estates Day function here, Antony emphasised that 'zero tolerance' towards corruption and malpractices should continue to be the "mantra" of the Ministry.
He said the role of Defence Estates department has become all the more critical with the growing value of land.
If the responsibility of the armed forces is to protect territorial borders of the nation, then it is the duty of Defence Estates Department to protect the defence lands within the country, Antony said.
He asked the officers of the department to put in place effective systems to prevent, detect and remove encroachment from defence lands so that they remain safe and available for its primary intended use.
On the occasion, the Defence Minister also released land survey reports of Pokharan range which is the largest field firing range for armed forces.
During the function, Army Chief General Bikram Singh said the Army will gain from the digitisation of land records undertaken and also from land survey and audit reports.