Tamil Nadu to conduct drone and DGPS survey of temples

Tamil Nadu to conduct drone and DGPS survey of temples within a year

The efforts come at a time the HR & CE department faces several complaints from various organisations

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

As part of its plans to ensure greater transparency in temple administration, the Tamil Nadu government will soon embark on an ambitious plan to conduct a drone and Differential Global Positioning System or DGPS survey of nearly 5 lakh acres of land owned by various temples and trusts that come under the HR & CE department. 

The project, which will cost around Rs 20 crore, is likely to begin in the next three months if the tender process goes smooth as planned. Officials in the know told DH that it will take about a year to complete the drone and DGPS survey of the temples and lands owned by them.

“This is a major step towards ensuring transparency and accountability in temple administration. The survey will generate 3D images which we plan to upload on the department's website. The 3D images will be so accurate that a person can even measure the land size," a senior official told DH.

He explained that the department will ask the company that will survey to deploy a maximum number of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to ensure that the mapping is done in a short period. The HR & CE department is also mulling seeking the help of the Institute of Remote Sensing of Anna University in the process.

The official said the department plans to upload 3D images of the lands belonging to temples as and when they are ready, without waiting for the entire process to be over.

“We plan to begin the mapping work by September once the process of finalising the bid is over. We hope to upload some of the 3D maps by the end of this year. The process of mapping lands belonging to big temples will be easy and we do may not face any major problem,” he explained.

Also read: Tamil Nadu Assembly adopts 3 Bills, House adjourned sine die

The efforts come at a time the HR & CE department faces several complaints from various organisations on poor upkeep of temple properties and not keeping a tab on rapid encroachment of temple land.

The drone and DGPS survey comes close on the heels of the HR & CE department taking up a massive digitisation work of land documents of temples that come under it. Documents for over 3 lakh acres of land have already been uploaded on the web.

“Drone and DGSP survey will measure the land to sub-meter level, and we feel mechanization and technology intervention is the best way to ensure transparency. But we will not compromise on our manual work too,” the official said.

The project will be supervised by HR & CE Commissioner J Kumaragurubaran who had successfully mapped over 41,000 acres of land belonging to State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) during his tenure as Managing Director.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox