The British had given Kolkata city its first base map in 1905 by undertaking a micro-level ground survey. A 100 years later, an updated base map of the Indian city has been prepared by conducting an aerial survey with funds granted by the British government. The National Remote Sensing Authority (NRSA), Hyderabad, recently sent several copies of the aerial survey map to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) for verification. In the NRSA map, all the buildings, roads, streets, parks, ponds and objects up to the width of a railway track have been vividly depicted at a scale of 1:500. Now it will be easier for the CMC to reconcile official records of assessment, property tax, sanctions given to building construction proposals, excavation of roads by the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation and Calcutta Telephones, water bodies, water supply and road repairs with the actual shown in the NRSA map.
“We urgently needed a status report on the way the face of the city has changed over the last 100 years. Besides, the city limit has extended by over 100 sq. km during the period. Hence, after getting the Rs 1.5 crore grant from the British government’s department for international development (DFID), I contacted NRSA and requested it to carry out an aerial survey and prepare an up-to-date base map for the city,” said mayor Subrata Mukherjee recently. The CMC will get a total Rs 212.25 crore of technical and financial support from the DFID to carry out a capacity building programme in the next six years.
The first base map of the city was prepared by Colonel Smart in 1905 and it was drawn at a scale of 1:600. It is still regarded as the most sacred official document in the CMC.