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Aerial survey for city map
- Comparison with civic records to reveal illegal constructions

After obtaining a clearance from the defence authority to publish an aerial survey of the city by the National Remote Sensing Authority (NRSA), mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya is set to release next month the base maps of wards 58 and 59, in east Calcutta.

Tangra, Tiljala and other areas along the EM Bypass will be vividly depicted in the maps. Details like the shape and size of buildings, width of roads and the number of lamp posts on them can be made out from the maps.

The funds for the Rs 5-crore project will be provided by the British government's department for international development. The deadline is December 2007.

According to municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay, a comparison of the maps with the civic records will reveal illegal constructions, unauthorised extensions and discrepancies between assessment records and the structure of buildings.

For example, Bandyopadhyay said, the map might show a four-storey building while the register of assessment mentions a single-storey structure with an asbestos roof. The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) can then claim regularisation fees and unpaid property tax.

Chief municipal architect and town planner Anindya Karforma, who is overseeing the project, stated that the maps would be on the scale of 1:500.

Once the digitised base map is readied by the NRSA, Riddhi Management Services, a private agency, will add geographical data to it.

Karforma claimed that the CMC is the only civic authority in the country to have a field map of the city that has been updated from the British era.

Smart's maps, prepared between 1909 and 1913, are now taken as the base map by the survey department of the CMC. A micro-level survey of the city landscape for wards 1 to 73 and Garden Reach had been done to prepare the maps on the scale of 1:600.

The shape of plots, buildings, the number of stairs in a bathing ghat and even the number of coconut trees in a garden and the distance between two trees can be found out from the Smart maps.

Over 800 maps constitute Smart's collection.

The civic body updated them till 1975 with the help of the National Thematic Mapping Organisation.

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