Maharashtra govt to conduct cadastral survey of gaothans with drones

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Government, under the Centre’s Svamitva (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) Scheme, has proposed to conduct cadastral survey facilitated by drones in 40,000 gaothans.

In the absence of such surveys, there has been unauthorised construction and it is difficult for the courts and the revenue department to adjudicate the cases involving such gaothans. The government hopes that with the completion of the survey and opening of property cards, there will be transparency. The government has appointed an 11 member committee headed by the additional chief secretary (revenue department) to review and provide the operational guidance.

A Revenue Department Officer told Free Press Journal, ‘’These gaothans are situated on government land and income earned from it is private. As there is no record of the right to the said property, it was incumbent upon the revenue department and the court to settle the disputes over the land. However, with the opening of the property register of the said place, transparency in the purchase and sale process will come due to the creation of the land authorization record. Also, the holders of this income will be able to get a loan on this income. This will increase the revenue of the state.’’

The officer said the drone survey advantages will include less time, efforts and manpower compared to any other traditional or modern methods, 1.2 crore households to be covered, unparalleled transparency and accuracy-linear to pictorial- ‘seeing is believing.’ Further, it will prevent future disputes as people can measure themselves with Geo-referenced maps and boundaries.

The drone survey will be followed by the issuance of property cards to those living in abadi areas (inhabited rural land). In the long run, it is hoped that the land records would help people to leverage property as an asset to avail loans and will also aid the overall rural planning processes. The government has proposed to spend a total of Rs 373.69 crore on the implementation of the scheme.

The government will set up at the State Programme Management Unit (SPMU) for overall management, monitoring of various activities and to provide support to State Revenue Department, district officials, gram panchayat functionaries and Survey of India. The SPMU will have qualified and experienced experts from the relevant domain. The State Revenue Department may also hire short term consultants and/or will have flexibility to outsource (SPMU) to professional agencies.

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