Development without its disastrous side effects in an ecologically sensitive and geologically volatile region of Uttarakhand is going to be a reality, thanks to a soon-to-be-introduced space based GIS resource information planning system, space scientists said.
Known as the Space based Information Support for decentralised planning, this (SIS-DP project) web-enabled database of resources will help facilitate absolutely disaster free scientific development across the Central Himalayan region (Uttarakhand) right up to the panchayat level, informed Dr MM Kimothi, Director, Uttarakhand Space Application Centre (USAC)
Maintaining that the SIS-DP project will be far more sophisticated than the existing Natural Resource Data Management System he said this (SIS-DP project) highly sophisticated space-based mechanism would be equipped with high-resolution satellite imageries of a whole gamut of resources available in the Uttarakhand Himalaya.
These satellite imageries will be of various aspects of local resources including land use/cover, drainage (rivers originating from the Uttarakhand Himalaya as well as all such water channels that have now dried up) system, surface water (lakes, barrages etc), road network up to the villages, settlements with building footprints etc. These imageries, which will provide highly accurate micro level (1 metre to 5.6 metre) data of a place, will be taken from the high-resolution sensors of three satellites namely Cartosat—I, Cartosat—II and Liss—4, according to Kimothi.
Informing that ISRO had initiated the process of collecting satellite data pertaining to the information relating to resources available in the State ``after a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was recently signed between the ISRO and the USAC’’ he said it would take at least three years in completing the database of these (satellite imageries.)
``The State government, the USAC and all (State government) departments will be linked to one another via this web enabled (SIS-DP) database’’, said Kimothi. Saying that the database also aims at developing ``site-specific interactive system that will also be connected to panchayats’’ he said the system that the panchayat office bearers would be able to operate in local languages would also be helpful in the grassroots level planning.
About the proposed system the expert said not only would the data available in the database be ``faithful and unbiased but the system itself would also be extremely user-friendly and all those who would be using it including the office bearers of panchayats would get every bit of information pertaining to resources available in their respective areas just by clicking the mouse of their respective computers.’’
Describing the proposed database as a boon for Uttarakhand he said it would (database) clearly specify geologically and ecologically vulnerable areas alerting the line departments against taking up any developmental projects, big or small in the danger zones. ``For example, if the State government plans to set up a mega hydropower project the proposed database would inform in advance whether the area for which it (project) is being planned is geologically volatile’’, the expert said.
Devendra Sharma, a geologist with USAC opined that the database would also come in handy in tackling the acute water crisis that kept recurring in the Uttarakhand hills. Elaborating, he said, the high-resolution satellite imageries would provide the users the data regarding all the rivers originating from the region including those channels that had now dried up. ``Once these data are available officials would be able to launch schemes to recharge these dried up channels, which would help the State tide over the problem of water crisis’’, Sharma told Hindustan Times.