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ISRO satellites to keep an eye on land encroachment in Delhi, project to start in 3 months

DDA estimates suggest it owns around 5,000 vacant acres in the city. But around 30% of the land has been encroached upon.

delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2017 10:56 IST
Joydeep Thakur
Joydeep Thakur
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian satellites,Satellites,ISRO
Traffic congestion due to encroachment at Govindpuri Extension in New Delhi on July 15, 2016.(HT File Photo)

Indian satellites could keep a gimlet eye on vacant plots in Delhi to prevent encroachment and unauthorised constructions.

The Delhi Development Authority proposes to take help of the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), an arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to monitor the city’s open spaces through satellites. A pilot project is likely to start soon in east Delhi.

“Talks were held with the NRSC. They would give us a presentation later this month. The pilot project is expected to take off within the next two to three months,” said a senior official of the DDA, the national capital’s land-owning agency.

DDA estimates suggest it owns around 5,000 vacant acres in the city. But around 30% of the land has been encroached upon.

This February, lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal directed the DDA to prepare year-wise data on people illegally usurping government land and devise an action plan to evict the encroachers.

The agency was asked to identify areas where layout plans have not been made so that these could be notified as “green”, a tag for places of ecological importance, to prevent further encroachment.

The possible tie-up with NRSC will help the DDA collate data through high-resolution satellite images.

The NRSC will alert the agency with specific GPS locations as and when the satellites pick up any abnormality or activity in a plot.

“DDA officials would visit the spot to check what the satellites detected,” the official said.

The agency is carrying out geo-referencing work in which officials are taking pictures of vacant plots on the ground and uploading them on the agency’s website with GPS coordinates.

“These would be used when satellites start monitoring,” the official said.

East Delhi was chosen for the pilot project because several vacant plots have been either partly or fully encroached there.

“There are several plots in Tahirpur, Dilshad Garden, Vishwas Nagar, Pandav Nagar and Mayur Vihar that have been encroached. Unauthorised constructions have come up in some plots,” said the official.

If the trials succeed, it would be replicated across New Delhi.

First Published: Jul 09, 2017 23:05 IST