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The Government of India enacted The Forest Rights Act, 2006 to present the opportunity for forest dwellers and cultivators to claim individual land rights. The Tribal Research and Training Institute (TRTI), Pune has developed a GPS and satellite imagery programme to claim benefits under the Act for the intended population in the state of Maharashtra. There are approximately 0.33 million claimants of Forest Rights in Maharashtra.
By leveraging GPS and satellite technology to document and determine the legitimacy of land claims, TRTI has enabled decision makers to take appropriate action based on unbiased evidence. Through persuasive ICT-led evidence, the Maharashtra system provides precursory information to plane table diagrams of land plots, expediting and lowering the cost of the entire process. It also reduces unnecessary conflict and corruption in the field that has historically been connected to issues of land rights. To date, 1.6 lakh cases have been measured by GPS.