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A great idea but…..

GIS Development Staff

In my research work since the Post Graduation level for the district of Murshidabad in the state of West Bengal, India parts of which are usually found under discussion in various media, I faced some major problems that made me realise how much difficult the field-based social researches are, which greatly depend upon cadastral mapping. Our sacred river ‘Ganga’ / ‘Padma’ is shifting its course towards its right bank, as a result of which the areas adjacent to the right bank under the jurisdiction of West Bengal are being washed away, changing the map of the entire area. Since 1994, lots of houses, agricultural fields, government offices, schools etc. were totally eroded due to the riverbank erosion. The Jalangi Police Station in Murshidabad district is a major victim of this natural disaster which lies on the Indo-Bangladesh border. For the sake of change detection of the entire area one has to depend on the maps, especially cadastral maps, which are very rare due to lack of maintenance. The mouza/village maps available are very old, these were prepared between 1954 and 1959 (as written on the maps) on the basis of 1915-’16 surveys. These maps are not available for all the villages. The maps available are also hardly able to help the recent change detection as many of the villages are not at all existing nowadays due to the geomorphological changes of the area and many others have changed their names. So, it is a very difficult task to correlate the present situation with the past on the basis of such maps and to reach decisions on further development planning of the area.

The top decision makers of our country speak about modernisation of techniques from their sophisticated circumference. They also need to consider the present situation in most of the rural India. There the surveyors practise the age-old traditional survey methods with a huge risk of inaccuracy as well as manipulation.

Computer-aided LIS? A great idea, but….Where is the Land? Where is the Information? Where is the System?

Do we know….?