Government to utilise geo-spatial technology to build smart cities

[] To improve planning and execution of its ambitious Smart Cities programme, the central government is planning to use geo-spatial technology, comprising satellite navigation systems and computer databases, to create, capture, store and retrieve spatial information of any place

The centre is planning to extensively utilise geo-spatial technology, to realise its vision of building 100 smart cities across the country, union urban development minister, M Venkaiah Naidu revealed on January 23, 2017.

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“Cities, in the past, were built on riverbanks. They are now built along highways. In the future, they will be built, based on the availability of optical fibre networks and next-generation infrastructure. Our government’s vision is to build 100 smart cities across the country and Geospatial Science & Technology (GS&T) is the means to realise this vision,” he said, addressing a conference of the Geospatial World Forum.

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Geo-spatial technology (GST) makes use of satellite navigation systems and computer databases called Geographical Information System (GIS), to create, capture, store and retrieve geographic and spatial information of any place, he said. “GST enables efficient, effective, relevant and integrated planning through the use of real-time data and data analytics,” Naidu pointed out. A common thread running between the schemes initiated by the NDA government in the urban development sphere, including Smart City Programme, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), AMRUT and HRIDAY, is the extensive use of ICT and geo-spatial information systems, he said.

Under the Housing for All (urban) scheme, the centre has envisioned that individual houses will be tracked through geo-tagged photographs, for effective monitoring. The urban development ministry has entered into an MoU with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad, for this, he said. Formulation of GIS-based development plans for 500 AMRUT cities, is one of the important reforms under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, launched by the centre in 2015, Naidu said.

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The use of GST-based mapping of cultural and natural heritage assets, to increase accessibility and also ‘intellectual access’ (digital and GIS mapping of historical location), is central to achieving the main objective of the HRIDAY scheme, he added.

The objective of HRIDAY is to preserve the character and soul of heritage cities and facilitate inclusive heritage-linked urban development.

India’s GPS-Aided Geo-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) was also used to precisely locate the authorised garbage dumping sites covering five main routes in Dehradun city, the minister said.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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