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Waqf Board to use GIS mapping to keep encroachers at bay

Hyderabad: Telangana and Andhra Waqf Boards have decided to harness the latest technology to protect its properties and keep the encroachers at bay. It is proposed to establish a GIS cell in the Waqf Board for collection of geographic coordinates of all Waqf properties. National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) will help in executing the task.

Waqf Board officials can watch encroachments just sitting in their office. Every move will be under the scanner now as the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, is taking up a pilot project in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for tapping the Geographical Information System (GIS) to map Waqf properties. The Global Positioning System (GPS) will also be roped in to monitor the Waqf properties.

The NRSC has developed an Android mobile application, named Bhuvan Waqf Map, for collecting GIS coordinates using GAGAN-enabled GPS.

The project will be started in TS & AP on experimental basis and if it succeeds it will be extended to other States in the country.

The mobile app was demonstrated to Waqf Board officials of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Mohammed Asadullah, Chief Executive Officer, Telangana State Waqf Board is very excited about the project and says it will be helpful to monitor the Waqf properties on a daily basis. According to him the satellite images obtained through GPS would also help the board in fighting cases arising out of disputes. The satellite images will form good evidence in courts against encroachers.

There are a total of 38,529 Waqf institutions with attached properties to an extent of 1.45 lakh acres. Of them 33,929 are in Telangana and 4,600 in Andhra Pradesh.

Telangana Waqf Board staff will undergo training in various modules of Waqf Management System of India (WAMSI).