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July 24, 1998


Maharashtra is keen on employing GIS

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The Maharashtra government is keen to use 'geographical information systems' and remote sensing technologies to plan and manage resources like oil and forests besides being better prepared for disasters.

GIS and remote sensing technologies are already a part of the Maharashtra Disaster Management Plan and the state government has entrusted the
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Maharashtra picks GIS
Nagpur based Maharashtra Remote Sensing Applications Centre to create a detailed 'disaster management information system', official sources reveal.

GIS has a prominent role to play in collection of data, its formatting, storage, transmission, updating of analysis and establishment of a wide communication network.

The comprehensive data will now be made available to district officials so that they can be better prepared for disaster management, vulnerability analysis and response plans.

The creation of DMIS is primarily meant to compile, store and update information related to hazards as it facilitates integrated analysis of the spatial and non-spatial data and generation of district-wise hazard maps for the state.

The hazard maps cover floods and epidemics, earthquakes, accidents, industrial hazards, fire and cyclones among other calamities.

With the advent of satellite remote sensing techniques, the availability of spatial data about the Earth surface, particularly natural resources, is easily compiled.

The spatial database, in combination with other geographical data, if properly analysed and integrated through the GIS techniques, can provide solutions and action plans in handling hazardous situation efficiently.

Of late, the GIS and remote sensing techniques are increasingly gaining importance in multistage planning and decision-making in the management of natural resources.

Application of both, GIS and remote sensing, which are computer-assisted techniques, can be used for resource management like that of mineral, land vegetation and water.

This can be used for preparing all kinds of information resources from a simple inventory to a detailed map analysis. In the hazard analysis phase, the technique can provide incidence maps and thematic maps.

The GIS system has the inherent potential to extend the capabilities to decision-makers from the national level, to officials at the state, district and tehsils levels.

The system can also be used widely for environment planning. GIS facilitates several aspects of environmental planning including environment impact assessment, environmental risk assessment, environmental monitoring and emergency planning.

One of the most important features of GIS, when integrated with remote sensing, is that it can be widely used for mineral and oil exploration in the state.

The system can also be used very efficiently for water resources potential, assessment and management. The state intends to have a comprehensive database on this.

MSRAC has already a complete set of spatial database in the form of maps for all natural resources like geology, geomorphology soils, land use, land cover, drainage and surface reservoirs covering the entire state on a 1:250,000 scale.

This data is being computerised under the Natural Resources Information System as an ongoing project of the MSRAC in collaboration with the Department of Space.

This data, in combination with non-spatial data such as socio-economic parameters, infrastructure, climatic factors and other factors can be potentially utilised for disaster management policy making at the state level.

However, for all the districts of Maharashtra, maps are also being generated at a 1:50,000 scale. This will provide more accurate data. The lengthy project will be carried out in a phased manner.


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