BENGALURU: Plans are afoot to use unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, to map urban properties and property taxes. This could help the Bengaluru civic corporation improve its poor tax collection.
The Urban Development Department and the Karnataka Knowledge Commission (KKC) have mooted the idea, with the latter already exploring the potential of UAS technology in various sectors. “A pilot will be done in one area in the city for which we are scouting for project partners,” KKC member secretary Mukund K Rao said.
Besides Bengaluru , drone demonstrations will be carried out in Bidadi and Badami towns. “Using drones will definitely help,” said Kumar Pushkar, BBMP’s special commissioner (finance). “We have done a GIS survey of each property but we don’t have details and a verification hasn’t been done. Once an aerial survey is done by drones, it can be superimposed on our GIS software. This is time-saving and requires minimal human interference,” said Pushkar, who is now on transfer.
Property tax is the only major source of revenue for the BBMP. The civic body’s record in tax collection, however, has not been up to the mark. In the past fiscal, the tax collection target was Rs 2,456 crore from an estimated 15 lakh properties, against which BBMP could collect only Rs 1,900 crore. For 2016-17, the property tax potential is pegged at Rs 2,400 crore.
Drones have been used locally by government agencies here. Last year, they were used for a mapping study at the Bannerghatta National Park to monitor encroachment, entry of animals into human settlements and inspection of forest boundaries. Similarly, the Bengaluru police used drones for monitoring crowds on the new year eve two years ago. Going forward, drones can be used to check building plan violations in an urban setting like Bengaluru, Rao said.
Now, a task group under National Institute of Advanced Studies director Baldev Raj is working to bring out a comprehensive report on UAS technology, its applications and how Karnataka can take the lead on this front.
“The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has come out with a draft policy on the use of drones based on floor-area ratio regulation. Our policy document will be based on this,” said task group member Krishna Venkatesh.
Credits ET Realty