In a bid to curb the mushrooming illegal structures, the state government has decided to identify and check illegal structures across the state with the help of a remote sensing technique.According to the state urban development (UD) circular, the planning and development authority will be appointed to weed out illegal structures. “The competent development and planning authority would ask authorised agencies to take 0.6m resolution satellite images of the city structures. The collected images would be handed over to designated officers, who will verify the same and make base-maps with details of approved structures, plans and proposed plans. If anything apart from these structures surfaces, it would be demarcated and termed as ‘illegal structures’ or ‘encroachments’,” the circular stated.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It further states that every six months, same remote sensing method should be used to map the structures. “The designated officers will verify the structures physically once again. If unapproved structures are surfacing, notices will be issued to them immediately. List of the unauthorised structures has to be made from time-to-time. The authority should remove these structures after issuing notices. They should make sure that no such structures should come up and occupy open spaces illegally,” said a senior UD official.He added that on recommendation of the Sitaram Kunte committee, the government recently legalised over two lakh illegal structures. “The government cannot afford to legalise illegal structures repeatedly. We want to make sure that no illegal structures come up. If they do, then immediate action should be taken to avoid the hassle of regularising them. If something goes wrong with the same, the planning authority will be held responsible,” said the UD official.In a hearing of the Public Interest Litigation filed by social activist Ravi Talreja, the Bombay high court had directed the state government to use sensor mapping system to check for illegal structures and to subsequently take action. The court was of the view that modern technology would surely help to identify illegal structures and asked the state to make the use of this technology mandatory for municipal corporations.

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Maharashtra: Remote sensing technology to check illegal structures