Friday, July 12, 2024

DCB’s Innovative Drone Survey Quadruples Property Tax Revenue to Rs 6.5 Crore

The Dehuroad Cantonment Board (DCB) achieved a significant boost in property tax collection, reaching Rs 6.5 crore in 2023, a fourfold increase from the previous Rs 1.8 crore. The successful enhancement was attributed to the innovative use of drones for property assessment, marking the first of its kind in the country. Amit Mane, the Defence Estate Officer of Pune Circle, highlighted the positive impact of this approach.

The sprawling 9,500-acre cantonment had faced challenges in accurately assessing and charging property taxes due to outdated records. To address this issue, Amit Mane, during his tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of DCB, initiated a groundbreaking drone survey. This initiative earned DCB the prestigious ‘Innovation in Public Service’ award from the Ministry of Defence.

Given the vast and diverse geography of the cantonment, which spans nine villages and eleven slums, traditional property assessments were hindered by citizen objections and logistical difficulties. In response, DCB collaborated with the College of Military Engineering (CME), leveraging their dedicated drone team. The deployment of three drones effectively surveyed properties in different zones, providing accurate images for comparison with existing records. Software analysis identified changes in property structures, enabling the revision of tax rates accordingly.

Despite facing objections from 7,000 citizens regarding the new assessment method, DCB undertook a thorough process to address concerns. Conducting 3,000 hearings, officials explained the revised assessment methodology, providing documentary evidence to support the changes. This proactive approach ensured minimal resistance and allowed DCB to address objections effectively, facilitating the successful implementation of the enhanced property tax system.

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