Drones to Map Illegal Colonies
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The Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra State Government has decided to sanction the proposal from the rural development department and the settlement Commissionerate to make use of drones for carrying out the land survey and issuance of property cards after successfully completing the pilot project at Soneri village in Purandar taluka.

The issue was resolved as the settlement Commissionerate department issued right property cards to more than 250 property holders in Soneri village and even issued sanad, an agreement with the Government along with maps demarcating property within one month of using drones for land survey.  After the successful completion of this pilot project, the same is being planned to replicate in 40,000 villages of the Maharashtra state.

The officials said that this land survey would have taken three decades time but the sanction of using drones for land survey will make it happen within three years.

An official was quoted saying that an Electronic Total Station (ETS), which is an electronic/optical instrument used for surveying and building construction is bought into use then also it will take 30 years to survey such a large area. But with the use of drones, a team can do the same within three years as the drone is able to cover two villages every day.

An official from the settlement Commissionerate department said that the proposal to use drones for the land survey is in the final stage of approval in the cabinet of ministers. We have also forwarded the report of a pilot project along with the proposal to the rural development department and to the finance department of the Maharashtra State Government.

A senior official said that the proposal is sanctioned and is expected to be cleared in the next cabinet session.

It is estimated that the land survey in all the villages will cost Rs. 270 crore on the basis of what is spent on the pilot survey of Soneri village that cost Rs. 2.88 lakh. Out of the required money, Rs. 76,000 will be allotted to the Survey of India to offer technical assistance and the authority will also be responsible for printing maps, officials said.

The State Government is making use of drones mounted with high resolution cameras to clearly map villages and towns that underwent constructions. The authority is waiting for the approval of this proposal from the State Government as it will help them to fetch accurate data along with photographs.