AAP government to replace satellite imaging with real-time surveys

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government has decided not to use satellite images in determining boundaries of what are called unauthorised colonies – which has proved to be a bottleneck for years in their regularisation – and instead go in for real-time surveys, officials said.

After the government found that satellite images lacked accuracy in determining the boundaries, the Arvind Kejriwal government has employed Total Station Machine (TSM) Survey for the task – a method officials describe as “more accurate and reliable”.

Following irregularities in the process of authorising such settlements in 2012, the then Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government had asked the Survey of India to provide satellite images for verifying built-up areas in these settlements.

“There were many problems in determining boundaries through satellite images. You cannot rely on satellite images when it comes to unauthorised colonies in Delhi,” a government official told IANS.

“TSM is more of a manual method. People engaged in surveying will go to these colonies with equipment. It is an important step. You cannot progress in regularising colonies till you demarcate their boundaries,” he added.

“The good part is that people engaged in the survey will visit these colonies.”

In the method, an electronic or optical instrument theodolite, used in modern surveying and building construction, as it can measure slope distance, vertical angle, and horizontal angle from a set-up point to a foresight point is employed.

“Two private agencies had been hired to do this. It will be first used in the 895 unauthorized colonies notified for regularisation,” the official said.

Like the previous Congress regime, the AAP government has also promised to regularise unauthorised colonies.

The Dikshit government had in 2008 decided to regularise 895 of the 1,639 unauthorised colonies. However, none of them has been regularised till date.

“It is the boundary issue. How will you prepare a layout if the boundary is not there,” a senior government official, who did not want to be named, told IANS.

Of 1.18 crore people in Delhi, some 50 lakh live in unauthorised settlements which are devoid of basic facilities.

The AAP government had this week said it would work towards the regularisation of the national capital’s unauthorised colonies by initiating steps like boundary fixation and asking the MCD to prepare layout plans for such colonies.

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