Alleged illegalities of the Adarsh scam brought to fore the archaic methods of defence land management,setting the ball rolling for survey,digitisation,scanning,indexing and microfilming of the records pertaining to defence land. The Defence Estates Office (DEO),Pune Circle alone has so far surveyed 87 per cent of the 80,000 acres of defence land within its limits.
While the survey was to be completed by December,according to an official of DEO,Pune Circle,the office has asked for a further extension till March 31 for completion of the survey.
The Pune Circle has 58,467 acres of defence land outside the cantonment areas. While DEO has completed the survey of nearly 51,000 acres,the remaining survey is likely to be completed by March.
According to the official,while 12,000 acres of defence land under the Pune region is held by the Army,INS Shivaji holds 850 acres in Lonavla while Lohegaon-based Indian Air Force (IAF),2 Wing occupies 2,178 acres of defence land.
While DRDO,with its four defence laboratories in and around the city occupies about 2,000 acres of land,training institutions such as College of Military Engineering (CME) and NDA occupy 3,500 and 8,000 acres,respectively.
The DEO,Pune Circle,has so far scanned 4.5 lakh documents,many belonging to even pre-British era. The DEOs across the nation have also been asked to carry out a geo- spatial survey of defence lands within their respective limits. The rakshabhoomi software that has the records of defence land across the country has been another milestone. But besides the improvements in systems,the defence estates department as a whole needs manpower and lucrative promotional policies that can ensure engagement of the staff. The projects face delays due to manpower shortage,an issue which needs attention, said an official.
Interestingly,in DEO Pune alone,since 2010,when Adarsh tainted R C Thakur,retired as the Assistant DEO (ADEO),the post has remained vacant. Officials say that the vacancy is not an after effect of the scam,but an outcome of the plagued HR policies of the department.