In a first, Slum Rehabilitation Authority to use drone tech to map slums – Times of India

MUMBAI: In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) will use a high-end drone for accurate mapping of slums across the metropolis.

SRA chief executive officer Deepak Kapoor confirmed to TOI that in view of lacunae in the existing manual survey of slums, they plan to use drone technology. “On a pilot basis, we used drones in village Hariyali near Kurla. The drone model used for the survey has a 20-megapixel camera with five-direction obstacle sensing. It can be controlled from a radius of seven km and can travel at 72 km/hour,” Kapoor said.

He said the drone camera had captured imagery spanning 50 acres in two flights of 15 minutes each from a height of 100m. A total of 2,300 huts were covered. “We have set a target of six months to complete the entire exercise of slum mapping. Andheri and Kandivli have the maximum slums,” Kapoor said.

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Kapoor said biggest challenge would be to provide tenements to 62 lakh slum dwellers. “We have 12.5 lakh hutments. As per the commitment of the centre as well as the state government, we have to make Mumbai and Maharashtra slum-free by 2022.”

However, he said they were confident of achieving the target before the deadline and the state government had launched a series of initiatives to achieve the target. “We have launched a new website and SRA GIS web portal. The website provides facility to citizens to track their grievances online and the GIS portal gives information and maps of slum clusters and hutments. SRA has proactively started mapping all slum structures and created GIS-based slum information system to make better planning decisions,” he said.

Secondly, Kapoor said work on GIS-enabled, biometric survey of slum dwellers residing in Mumbai municipal area has also started. The survey will help identify slum dwellers who are eligible to avail benefits of slum rehabilitation schemes.

Alarmed by mushrooming growth of slums in the metropolis, the state government had, in 1995, launched an ambitious slum rehabilitation scheme. However, progress was slow. Between 1995 and 2017, the SRA was able to provide 1.7 lakh tenements. “SRA has approved 1,441 schemes and we expect developers to complete the schemes in a time-bound manner to achieve the target of slum-free Mumbai,” Kapoor said.


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