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Update : Monday, August 7, 2023

#Bangladesh Digital Survey officially launched from Chattogram 

#BDS will be conducted across the country under two projects

Land Minister Saifuzzaman said that the journey of Bangladesh Digital Survey (BDS) program promised by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has started across the country with the BDS rollout in Chattogram.

Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury officially inaugurated the rollout of Bangladesh Digital Survey (BDS) at the Primary Teachers Training Institute (PTI) auditorium in the port city of Chattogram on August 6, 2023. Chattogram Divisional Commissioner Md. Tofayel Islam was present as a special guest at the event, presided over by Land Secretary Md. Khalilur Rahman.

Mentioning that the first science-based survey started in Bangladesh about 130 years ago from Chattogram, the land minister expressed hope that the BDS, which now began in Chattogram, would be the final survey conducted in the field.

The Land Minister said that the main objective of the Bangladesh Digital Survey is to complete the cadastral survey in Bangladesh in a short time and reduce the need for field surveys. Apart from this, there will be no need for a revisional survey for the convenience of digital map partition if there is no major land deviation due to natural reasons in any area.

Saifuzzaman Chowdhury said, it will be possible to send the draft of ‘Land Crime Prevention and Redress Act’ to the parliament by next September for enacting the law. Pointing out that the days of illegal land occupation are coming to an end, the minister emphasized that the law includes provisions for both imprisonment and fines as penalties for engaging in illegal land occupation.

Land Secretary Md. Khalilur Rahman said, Mouza map and khatian will be available online at the same time in BDS program. Within 15 days, a Khatian will be prepared with map of automatically created holding

Earlier, on 03 August last year (2022), the Land Minister inaugurated the BDS piloting program in the Itbaria Union of Sadar Upazila of Patuakhali district. Based on the success of the pilot, the Land Minister inaugurated the full-fledged BDS program from Chattogram today.

Director General of Land Records and Survey Department, Md. Abdul Barik, EDLMS project director of BDS program Zahurul Islam, Chattogram Deputy Commissioner Abul Abul Bashar Mohammed Fakhruzzaman, Chattogram Zonal Settlement Officer Afia Akhtar along, officials of the Land Ministry, concerned projects and field administration, officials of South Korean vendor organizations, local politicians, local civil society leaders and media related people were present on the occasion.

(First Phase of BDS program)

The first phase of BDS rollout activities will be conducted in the Chattogram, Narayanganj and Rajshahi City Corporations, Dhamrai and Kushtia Sadar Upazilas (including Municipalities) and Manikganj Municipalities totalling 634 mauzas covering 933 sq km (2lakh 38 thousand acres) area under the ‘Establishment of Digital Land Management System (EDLMS)’ project.

In a relatively short period, the latest technology including Satellites, Drones/UAVs, and Ground Control Stations will be used in Bangladesh Digital Survey to accurately survey the land digitally. Once BDS is implemented, automation systems will be introduced, including land survey, network establishment within land management offices. With the establishment of linkage between mouza-map and record, land owners will be able to easily view records and plots online. Transparency and accountability in land survey and management will be ensured, which will reduce public suffering and create skilled human resources.

The entire system of BDS will be integrated as a module of the National Land Service Automation System. The geo-referenced Mauza map determined under this project will be provided to the ‘Land Management Automation’ project. After the sale of the land, the map boundaries will change along with the change in the Mutated Record of Rights.

(BDS will be implemented under two projects)

BDS program will be carried out simultaneously throughout Bangladesh in phases under two separate projects to facilitate smooth conduct of Bangladesh Digital Survey activities. The two projects will be conducted under the direct supervision of the Land Ministry under the management of the Land Record and Survey Department.

One of the two projects is the ‘Establishment of Digital Land Management System (EDLMS)’ project. A total of TK 383.50 crore has been allocated for this through financing from the government and the Korea Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF). Out of which TK 78.10 crore has been allocated from the government and TK 305.40 crore from Korea.

The other project is titled “Strengthening Operational Capacity of the Department of Land Records and Surveys (DLR&S) for Digital Survey Project” (SOC-DDS). TK 1212.55 crore have been allocated in government funding for this. Under this project, the BDS rollout will start across the entire Barguna and Patuakhali districts.

(Short history of cadastral survey programs)

Incidentally, the first science-based modern cadastral survey program, i.e. the land survey program in Bangladesh, was experimentally started in 1888 in Ramu, Cox’s Bazar sub-division of the then Chattogram district. This survey program was known as the cadastral survey (CS survey) by its basic generic name. In light of the experience in Ramu, CS survey program were carried out across the entire East Bengal beginning from Chattogram in 1890 and ended in Dinajpur district in 1940. As some areas of Chattogram and Sylhet were not administratively part of Bengal at that time, a CS survey was not conducted in these areas. It is expected that after the completion of the BDS program, which started today, there will be no need to conduct such cadastral surveys in the field.

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