Lucknow civic body’s plan to use drones to survey properties faces cash difficulty
The plan to use drones to survey taxable properties in Lucknow has hit a roadblock just a week after its announcement. According to Lucknow Municipal Corporation, it has only enough cash to survey six wards as against the existing 110 in the city.
While launching the drones amid much publicity on August 17, LMC had claimed that these would help bring all properties under the house tax net as the drones will determine the exact number of taxable properties within a municipal area.
The project is funded by World Bank and supported by the Union ministry of urban development. While LMC had announced it would complete the survey of all 110 wards in six months, it has now deferred the plan citing cash crunch.
Additional municipal commissioner PK Srivastava said, “We had got around Rs 1.5 crore from the Centre for the pilot survey of a few wards through drones. But to cover the entire city, LMC needs at least Rs 12 crore, which we don’t have right now. We will only cover six wards namely Chinhat, Faizabad Road colonies, Yahyaganj, Alambagh, Aminabad and Indiranagar outskirts. We have to defer the plan of assessing the entire city till the time we arrange for Rs 12 crore.”
The survey is underway with LMC expecting to cover all six wards by next week. The drones will click pictures of a house, room area and road width in front of the house, among other things. Later, the data and pictures will be combined to make a digital map to record the status of LMC’s tax collection exercise. As of now, LMC is able to collect house tax from about 5 lakh properties in the city. It estimates that more than 1.5 lakh houses are left out from the tax net.