Expressing concern over the fast rate of urbanization, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked the Directorate General of Defence Estates (DGDE) to protect every inch of its land.
Speaking at the Raksha Mantri's Awards for Excellence 2018 presentation ceremony in New Delhi on Saturday, December 22 the Minister said:
"Due to urbanization creeping in at a very fast rate, we find many pressures coming from all sides closer to where the defence estates are located".
Sitharaman said the defence loses a lot more space for the lack of coordination between the local municipal authorities and the DGDE. Hence, the DGDE should protect its land meant for defence purposes "more cautiously".
She also raised concern over defence land being encroached, making it a tiresome and difficult job to get it removed.
"Every inch of defence property has to be protected for any future requirements," the Minister emphasised.
Hailing the role of Defence Estate Office (DEO), Sitharaman said: "The role that DEO performs is as important as guarding the borders of a sovereign country".
She also asked the DEO to urgently assess all the defence land that have not been assessed so far.
Sitharaman said citizens should also honour that unattended defence land is not meant for encroachment since such land belongs to the forces.