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Laser tech finds 33,000 alterations to buildings in Mumbai

Civic body to check if the changes are legal, will earn ₹500 crore from additional property tax in case of illegalities

mumbai Updated: Oct 12, 2018 00:21 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,BMC
High rise towers silhouetted during sunset in Mumbai(HT Photo)

At least 33,000 alterations have been made to the original plan of buildings across the city, according to a survey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) using the 360-degree Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology to identify the additional area being used by citizens.

The civic body will now check if the changes are legal by streamlining the data and syncing it with the 15-digit unique identification number that has been given to each building. In the second phase of the survey, if the alterations are found to be illegal, the BMC will send notices to property owners and impose an additional property tax, depending on the alterations/additions made to the original structure shown in the approved construction plan.

Using the technology that takes a 360° video of each property, the BMC surveyed nearly 2.61 lakh properties of the 3.39 lakh buildings covered by the assessment and collection department. The rest of the buildings are in restricted areas belonging to the defence and Bombay Port Trust and the civic body is yet to get permission to conduct a survey there.

The LiDAR project, which excludes slums, was announced in 2017, at a cost of ₹12 crore. The technology, coupled with video-recordings, measures the length, breadth and height of properties and roads on which they stand. The survey will help the civic body maintain records of any changes made to the buildings. Moreover, it will give the civic body an opportunity to generate nearly an additional ₹500 crore, from the revised property tax, according to sources. The BMC on an average collects around ₹5,000 crore in property taxes annually.

The deviations include changes to the number of storeys, extension of balconies, covering of mandatory open area and use of the property –commercial, residential or industrial. A senior civic official said, “The new changes will be compared with our data and the owners will be questioned for the extensions.”

Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “Some structures may have court stay or litigation. We will now scrutinise the structures and data. There will be a perceptible jump in the revenue, but I can’t put a number to it. The aim of the project is to avoid any leakages in the system, making it more robust.”

“All changes may not be illegal, as some may have got due permissions. The civic body will only fine those who have made the changes without permissions,” said another official.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 00:21 IST