BBMP to tackle illegal constructions thru ISRO satellite images

BENGALURU: Isro satellites could soon keep a tab on illegal constructions in the city. BBMP, which has failed to put a stop to illegal constructions and building violations in the city, is in talks with the space agency to get satellite maps at regular intervals to keep a tab on illegal constructions. Officials said limited manpower prevents them from monitoring constructions in a city spread over 719 sq km.

CR Lakshminarayana, Domlur ward corporator and former chairman of the BBMP standing committee on town planning, said: “Since the number of constructions, especially in Greater Bengaluru areas like Bellandur where a building collapse happened recently, the number of constructions is going up rapidly. Not many of them are being monitored.’’

Senior officials said said they’re initiating talks with Isro to retrieve spatial maps at regular intervals, so that if there are any changes in the landscape or fresh constructions, they can be detected immediately and tackled. Low orbiting satellites of the space agency have a resolution of 3 metres or less and they’ll help us identify minute features of city development using satellite images,” he added

“Currently, we’re relying on British era maps. In the future, we can superimpose satellite maps on old maps to keep a tab on encroachments. There are plans to upload such maps in the public domain as well. However, that will take some time,” he added. It’s not the first time Isro expertise will be used — the state government took Isro’s help recently to locate underground water sources.

Agreement before construction
In order to ensure that builders and owners in the city don’t go ahead with illegal constructions, BBMP is coming up with a set of rules wherein the property owner, developer and builder sign an agreement before work begins. “This will be apart from the plan approval and procedures already in place. What we found in the Bellandur building collapse case is that the owners were from another state and some are still on the run. Once we know the whereabouts of people associated with the construction and get them to sign the agreement, it’ll help us make them accountable,” said a senior BBMP official.

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