Kerala to hold property survey with drones to boost revenue collections

Representational image: Shutterstock photos

Thiruvananthapuram: In a bid to boost revenue collections, the applications of drones and Geographic Information System (GIS) too are being sought by the Kerala Government. To assess area of property in open spaces surveys will be conducted by drones apart from the routine ground-level survey. The State Finance Commission recommendations in this regard have received the government nod.

The local bodies will also collect data via GIS and field inspections to identify buildings and constructions that are not under the property tax ambit.

Most of the local bodies now holds only the property plan submitted to them when permission was sought for the construction of houses and commercial establishments. Even houses, built under the EMS Housing scheme, were later expanded.

When any additional construction is made or the building is expanded, the norms stipulate that permission should be sought but this is not mostly compiled with. Officials, who inspect the buildings, do not provide accurate information either.

Some local bodies had sought the GIS method to inspect buildings, but the huge fees sought by accredited agencies proved to be a hurdle.

A notification was issued for the revision of property tax in January 2011, but this was dropped following protests in 2013. Subsequently, it was decided that local bodies should assess the area of the buildings and determine the tax.

It is estimated that of the total Rs 2,098.49 crore property tax to be levied by 1,064 local self-government bodies in Kerala only Rs 959.23 crore was collected by the end of the 2021-22 financial year. The dues on this account were Rs 1,139.17 crore.

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