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In a recent development, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has planned to use Google maps to map illegal colonies in the city. Earlier they were planning to do the same with the help of drone technology, but due to high costing, the idea has been shelved for now.

However, now the GDA has assigned the whole task to the Lucknow-based Remote Sensing Application Centre (RSAC). The centre has already finished mapping of half of the city and will send its report to the authority in another few days. A preliminary report has been sent by the RSAC to the GDA.

Giving more information on the same, Amardeep Singh, assistant engineer, GDA said, “In a recent meeting with RSAC officials, we have been told that a survey with Google images is half complete. A full-fledged report will be submitted in a fortnight,”

He said that the survey through Google images has cost them Rs 30,000/sqm which is cost-effective than Drone or LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology.

Singh also explained the technique used by RSAC to map such colonies. “Two images had been used to make a comparison. A Google image of a particular area or colony for the year 2016 is being used as base and compared with the image of 2018. The difference between the two images will ascertain the level of encroachment and give the GDA more necessary information to act on illegal and encroached constructions.” Added Singh.

Realizing the potential of remote sensing techniques, the Govt. of Uttar Pradesh has established the first state-level Remote Sensing Applications Centre at Lucknow in 1982. The centre generates natural resource-related data through utilization of aerial and satellite remote sensing technique and providing the data thus generated to the numerous State Government User Departments.

Due to recent building collapses in Ghaziabad, the GDA has assigned the task of mapping illegal colonies in the city to RSAC.