Land survey to go hi-tech

About a decade after deciding to do away with the traditional method of land survey and settlement, the state government has decided to soon promulgate an ordinance to introduce hi-tech methods for the purpose.

With the state cabinet on Saturday evening giving its nod for a new ordinance, Odisha Special Survey and Settlement Ordinance, 2012, officers are optimistic that the new land survey and settlement methods, based on satellite imaging, aerial photography and differential global positioning system (DGPS) and electronic total station (ETS), would come into force soon.

“The new system would be much less time consuming and accurate compared to the traditional plain table approach,” said revenue secretary Taradutt.

Official sources said the Union ministry of rural development under its National Land Records Management Programme shall be extending financial assistance to the state government to implement the new system for survey and settlement.

Sources said the new system could involve either satellite imaging along with ground checking through DGPS or ETS or aerial photography followed by ground measurement through DGPS or ETS.

“Only satellite imagery cannot be relied upon as it is not accurate in areas with vegetative growth and high density of habitation. So we have to combine it with ground checking through DGPS or ETS,” a senior officer said. “The second option is to do it through aerial photography as is being done in some foreign countries as also Bihar. Here also vegetative growth and high density of habitation could affect the accuracy. Hence it has to be done along with DGPS or ETS. Though DGPS and ETS are accurate, doing survey only through this method as is being done in Gujarat is very expensive. Therefore, we are considering to have a mix,” the officer added.

To verify the authenticity and cost implications, the state government has already captured satellite data of land in four districts and also a pilot project on DGPS at Giriangaput village under Bhubaneswar tehsil. “We are planning to do a pilot project of land survey based on aerial photography. Based on findings of the different methods, the government will decide on how to go about the task,” an officer said.

Sources said the new law would have overriding effect on the existing survey and settlement laws, but the former shall also continue to enjoy legitimacy. “In 1757 village where survey work is in advanced stages using the traditional method, the old law would be in vogue. Also, all existing cases would be dealt under the old law,” an officer added.

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