With the incidence of land grabbing on the rise in Visakhapatnam, due to emergence of the city as an industrial hub, the district administration has launched a drive to digitise information on government lands and put it on the public domain.

“We are not only obtaining land data but also erecting stones, pillars, and signboards, warning against encroachment, grabbing or any bid to sell them by unscrupulous elements by manipulating records,” district Collector V. Seshadri has said.

In an interview, he told The Hindu that it was observed that several land sharks were eyeing precious government lands in the areas falling in 10 mandals such Bhimunipatnam and Atchutapuram – all adjoining Visakhapatnam.

To keep pranksters at bay, he said they would put the data with photographs and survey numbers on the web.

The information will also be passed on to the Sub-Registrars so that they do not entertain any sale deed for lands falling in the areas identified by the Revenue Department.

There will be a separate memo on each parcel of land. As of now, 50 to 60 parcels of land have been demarcated by the field staff. The target is to identify and protect 250 parcels in the next two months. A cell has been opened under a deputy tahsildar to regularly monitor the progress.

Asked to comment on several patches of government land being claimed by private persons and groups as theirs, Mr. Seshadri said steps were being taken to put up a strong case in courts.

Wherever required, experienced and good lawyers would be engaged to argue and defend the government’s interests.

Stringent action

He said special thrust was being laid to prevent land sharks from grabbing revenue lands by forging documents, and take stringent action against them as per law.

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