Drones to Map Illegal Colonies
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The Bengaluru revenue department recently carried out a drone-based pilot survey of the Jayanagar ward and after studying its result, the department is planning to expand the drone-based property survey in all the wards in Bengaluru.

The use of drone-based survey is a step closer towards successfully implementing the dream Urban Property Ownership Records (UPOR) project. This project initially failed in five cities of the Karnataka state. Started in 2009, the UPOR project guarantees factually correct property ownership records to all property owners in the cities. Also, the ownership card gives an authenticated identity to the property and minimizes the risk of document tampering.

The project was launched nine years back in Karnataka and the revenue department took the same in the Jayanagar ward in July 2018. This is the first time that the survey was carried out while using drones that were deployed by the Survey of India. Interestingly, a similar kind of project was carried out in Ramanagara too.

The officials also gave thumbs up to the drone-based survey and said that the error margin was 5-7 cm but this is acceptable.

Munish Moudgil, commissioner, Survey, Settlement and Land Records said that we can go ahead with the drone-based survey as the department carried out a manual survey of the same area by visiting and comparing the dimensions in drone sketches with the actual dimensions. Here we saw minimum error margins and thus the pilot project stands successful.

Now, the same process will be followed to survey in five districts that are Ramanagara, Tumakuru, Hassan, Karwar and Belagavi. The drone-based property survey has already been carried out in 60 wards of the Bengaluru city.

The Commissioner said that the revenue department is going to ink a pact with the Survey of India to procure drones and obtain technical support. He also said that we will need a minimum of 40 drones to initiate the survey. We would also like to own nearly 100-200 drones which will help us survey all properties in the state.

However, a survey of 23-lakhs properties in Bengaluru can be carried out in 20 days with a help of 40 drones. The revenue department estimated Rs. 100 crores for the project out of which Rs. 75 crores will be paid to the Survey of India to establish infrastructure, purchase of drones and seeking technical support, whereas the remaining Rs.25 crores will be the administrative cost.

On the other hand, the Survey of India is yet to sign the deal. According to an official, the entire process can take two years-time for project completion and issuance of ownership cards in Bengaluru. The survey and the land-mapping job are quick to finish but data processing, verification of documents and creating ownership cards will take more time.