Database on land use in the country is highly inadequate and needs to be upgraded
Pratap Vikram Singh | June 3, 2015
With land becoming scarce commodity there is need for fresh survey to quantify it scientifically. Vandana Kumari Jena, secretary, department of land resources, ministry of panchayati raj and rural development on Wednesday called on the states to undertake a fresh survey of land to be able to make the most of geo-spatial technologies.
It has been more than a few decades since states did land survey. The cadastral maps, hence, in most of states have not been revised since then. This could be a limiting factor in overlaying GIS over cadastral maps.
The Gujarat government, under Narendra Modi's leadership, conducted physical land survey and updated the cadastral map. The revised cadastral map along with GIS map developed by Bhaskaracharya institute for space applications (BISAG) are helping the state government in ascertaining size and ownership of land, which gives proper picture of land availability for various projects, Jena said. The secretary was speaking at a conference organised by FICCI on 'location based services - 2015'.
Since resurvey of land may give rise to ownership disputes, it is considered as a politically sensitive area easily overlooked by ruling governments.
According to draft land utilization policy introduced by land resources department in 2013, "the existing database on land use in the country is highly inadequate. There is no mechanism to monitor land use changes taking place and their impacts." Introduction of systematic and integrated land use planning at national, state and regional levels is going to be a major challenge, the draft policy said.
"There have to be supportive instruments (mapping, spatial information, planning processes, tools, methods, procedures, standards etc.) for land use planning and management which also take into account inclusiveness, poverty, gender and climate change aspects," the draft policy stated.
Under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichayi Yojana, government is identifying water shed locations wherein location based services can play major role, she said.
She said that so far 23 states have computerised land records and over 24 states have automated the land registration process. Only 10 states, however, have done both, she said.
Sudhir Krishna, former secretary of ministry of urban development, said that use of geospatial technologies have yielded results in municipal functioning and services. A few municipal corporations have increased property tax collection through usage of GIS, he said.
GIS has also been helpful in planning activities, mapping of drainage system and harnessing of storm water for underground water recharge, he said.
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