While digitising the original maps of the city, the revenue department learnt that it has just about 10% of legacy data.
The Department of Survey, Settlement and Land Records, which has been the storehouse of original base maps and land records of Karnataka for the last 140 years, does not have maps of even half of what Bengaluru is now.
“While undertaking the enormous task of digitising all maps and data, we learnt about this. From 1970 to 2018, the city has grown seven-fold. But the legacy data of Bengaluru with us is of just 131 square kilometres as of 1970, which includes core Bengaluru and some rural areas,” a revenue department official told DH.
According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the city is spread across 832 square kilometres.
The official admitted that the exercise of creating base maps and documenting each plot slowed down gradually and over the years it has come to a halt, the reasons being lack of interest and shortage of staff.
The department also said that officials look at it as a time consuming and physically demanding exercise as they have to survey each plot and note the dimensions.
Twenty years ago, there were just 1,000 staffers, now there are 4,000 government surveyors and 2,000 licensed surveyors. But for the revenue department, this number continues to be less to take up the exercise.
‘99% rural areas mapped’
According to revenue department records, while around 99% of rural areas have been mapped and documented, that is not the case in urban areas. In fact, in Ramanagara, Tumakuru, Hassan, Uttara Kannada and Belagavi districts, only 5% of urban areas are mapped and documented.
“Having a legacy data of any plot, location and city are essential. Legacy data is base maps of each plot in the city, with its exact dimensions. It helps ascertain legal plots and development. It also helps to draw a clear picture of the growth of the city. But unfortunately, this is not the case in Bengaluru as it has not been done,” the official added.
Also, the original maps of Karnataka drawn 140 years ago are also lying in a dilapidated condition in the office of the Department of Survey, Settlement and Land Records.