In a first, CIDCO to use AI to detect illegal structures


Navi Mumbai: The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO for the first time is eyeing the possibility of using automated technology to identify illegal constructions happening in its area. Taking a big leap from the existing practice of manually locating illegal or unauthorized constructions, the developing body will be spending almost 2.5 crore to develop web-based applications to address the issue.

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“The area under CIDCO especially the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) comprising 200 odd villages is going to see major expansion in future.

The idea behind having an automated system was considered as the area of CIDCO, especially The need for a web based system was long felt wherein information about the nature of construction work or any encroachments should be available at the click of the button for officials across departments. This will increase accountability amongst officials,” said the chief vigilance officer (CVC) Suresh Mengade

The application that CIDCO plans to develop will enable officials to do extensive area-based study with the help of high resolution satellite imagery. “This technological intervention will supplement the manual process of identifying illegal structures. The use of artificial intelligence in studying the satellite imagery of the areas will provide better clarity of the task in hand for officials, ensure that the office has robust record and bring about transparency amongst the concerned departments as well,” said the Joint Managing Director (JMD), CIDCO, Rajesh Patil.

The application will further enable officials to designate the kind of action to be taken i.e. issuing notices, undertaking demolition drives. It is also suggested to have a system of registering the status of action taken. Primary emphasis is laid on having access to comparative study of the construction work done in different areas by studying the past and present maps. “CIDCO is already in possession of earlier maps and now for the next few months fresh images of the same areas will be procured from the government. These images then will be superimposed and through the application officials will study the imagery so as to understand the ground reality of construction works and take appropriate action,” said a senior official with the IT department.

Illegal construction and encroachments is an issue that CIDCO has been grappling with for a long time. As per the report filed quarterly between 1 August 2022 to 30 June 2023, a total of 1159 illegal structures were identified in areas like Nerul, Koparkhairane, Vashi, Ghansoli,Sanpada, Airoli, Belapur, Kharghar, Kamothe, Kalambloli, Uran, Ulwe, Taloja, Pushpak, Karanjade and Dronagiri. “We have a team of vigilance squads who are constantly visiting nodes and verifying the construction work going on in each of these areas. Additionally there are also individual complaints raised about encroachments or unauthorized constructions which again gets inspected by the officials and these take time therefore technological upgradation will be handy,” said an official with the estate department.

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