New Delhi: Railways has developed a web based application called Land Management Module to provide the status of rail land whether encroached or not which would be helpful in tackling the menace of encroachment, Lok Sabha was told on Wednesday.

The Land Management Module has been integrated with Track Management System (TMS) for complete digitisation of land record and maintaining land data in railways, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said in a written reply.

The module include details of acquisition/area/usages and land plans of land bank of Indian Railways, He said the system is designed to provide the status of Railway land whether encroached or not and thus would be helpful in tackling the menace of encroachment.

At present about 879.48 hectare railway land is encroached. A work costing Rs36.24 crore has been sanctioned for mapping of all fixed Railway assets on Geographical Information System (GIS) of Bhuvan Satellite Imagery of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) integrated with TMS of the Railways.

Pilot of GIS mapping of Indian Railways network and land parcels has already been started on Delhi Division of Northern Railway.

Railway carry out regular surveys of encroachment and takes action for their removal. If the encroachments are of temporary nature (soft encroachment) in the shape of jhuggies, jhopries and squatters, the same are removed in consultation and with the assistance of Railway Protection Force and local civil authorities.

For old encroachments, where party is not amenable to persuasion, action is taken under Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971 (PPE Act, 1971). During the last three years approximately 89 hectares of encroached land has been retrieved.

Regular measures are taken to protect Railway land from encroachment which include, licensing of land to Railway employees for Grow More Food (GMF) Scheme, provision of boundary wall, tree plantation at vulnerable locations.