The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court Thursday that it is employing the satellite mapping technology to help find out illegal constructions in major cities.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a division bench of acting Chief Justice N H Patil and Justice G S Kulkarni that Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, also called satellite mapping, is being carried out in 170 cities.
Kumbhakoni also told the court that the state's Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) too is looking to use a similar system to monitor and keep a check on illegal construction.
In September, the high court, hearing a petition filed by a housing society which had been declared illegally constructed, had asked the government if it can use satellite imaging (mapping) to monitor illegal construction activity.
Kumbhakoni said Thursday that as per a government resolution (GR) of May 2016, a designated officer will be appointed to handle satellite mapping. "This officer will update the images every six months. Permissions granted to buildings will be reflected in the images. If any structure is found to be constructed without requisite permissions, it will be stopped," he added.
The bench sought to know what steps have been taken in the past two years.
"The problem is that there is no prevention. No steps are taken to stop illegal construction. Only after a building is constructed and people start residing there, the issue is raked up," Justice Patil said. Adjourning the hearing, the court asked the state to file an affidavit on progress made on the 2016 GR.