Analysis of intra-district disparities for Dehradun district using GIS technique

Analysis of intra-district disparities for Dehradun district using GIS technique


R.D.Gupta1, P.K. Garg2, Manoj Arora2
1Research Scholar, 2Assistant Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Roorkee Roorkee-247667, India

Proper planning requires optimum utilisation of human, material and financial resources of a region. This study presents an approach to assess the imbalances in facilities available in various community development blocks of Dehradun district. Educational facilities, Medical facilities, Drinking water facilities, Post office, Approach road, Power supply, Market, Literacy and Irrigated land area have been considered. A GIS data base in ARC/INFO software package has been created which subsequently is used to integrate these data together to rank the development in the district.

Today planning is an integral part of our national policy. It embodies the collective aspirations of people as well as the commitment of Government to achieve specific goals and targets. Planning is a process for achieving certain self-defined and pre-determined goals laid down by a central planning authority. In other words, planning is usually done at the top level. On the other hand, in case of decentralised planning, planning is generally carried out from the bottom e.g. each village panchayat may be asked to prepare a plan for the economic development of the village and each industry may be asked to prepare its own development plan. Thus, an important objective of the decentralised planning is the optimum utilisation of human, material and finance resources and to ensure involvement of those people for whom the plans are intended to be implemented (Ali and Kumar, 1997).

Planning commission, from sixth plan onwards, has also laid considerable stress on area based micro-level planning in which a district is considered to be a viable unit. The district level planning begins with the analysis and prioritisation of the small areas (micro-regions) as well as needs of the people (different social classes) and demands for the future development. Further, it provides a framework which rationalises and integrates them with the objectives laid down for state (sub-national) and nation. District is thus an atomized part of the national level macro-space, and hence district planning is required to be carried out scientifically so as to generate development from grassroots (Mukherjee and Bhoosnurmath, 1993)

Intra – District Disparities: Basic Concept
The development in a district is never uniform. For the formulation of a development plan for a district, it would be necessary to make a critical assessment of present scenario, on the basis of available resources (natural/physical) and potentials, nature of local needs and problems, the priorities assigned to different socio-economic activities and the trends of development. Owing to the difference in the levels of economic development and provision of various facilities among the sub-regions (community development block level) of a district, it is essential to carry out intra-district disparity analysis for prioritising the developmental programme within a district.

The purpose of the present study, therefore is to examine the distribution of infra-structural and socio-economic facilities in the district Dehradun and to categorise various community development blocks of district, based upon overall level of development, using the concepts of Geographical Information System (GIS).

GIS and District Level Planning
From the early days of civilisation, human activities have always acquired geographic information on various themes with their locations and inter-relations. The planners and decision makers always require locational, quantitative and statistical information concerning various cultural features and infra-structural facilities affecting the planning. These information may be available in different forms, such as maps, photographs, textual, graphical or tabular form. Integration and analysis of these information in an effective manner is only possible through the use of a GIS.

A GIS represents a computer based system for capturing, storing, retrieving and handling spatial and non-spatial data. A complete geographical information system perform four major functions i.e. (i) Data input (ii) Data storage and retrieval (iii) Data manipulation and (iv) Data output. GIS integrates policy with land resources and land use, thereby providing a powerful tool for land managers, planners and policy makers. The enormous data on natural resources, socio-economic and demographic setup required for district level planning can be efficiently handled and analysed in a GIS. Different management scenario can also be processed allowing the planners/managers to analyse various alternatives before selecting the most appropriate plan.

Although the use of computers in automating the spatial information for districts has increased but the use of GIS in planning is still very crude. Mohammad (1991) has emphasized the need for applying GIS in micro-level planning. Baburajan and Stalin (1996) have attempted to develop an information system for planning at village level using index criterion in dBase IV for Kothur and Amangal mandals of Mahboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh.

The Study Area
Dehradun district is situated in the foothills of Himalayas and is facing severe environmental degradation due to various reasons, namely, improper land use patterns, deforestation activities, uncontrolled urban sprawl, industrial and mining activities and population growth.

The district lies between 29058’00” N and 31002’30” N latitudes and 77034’05” E and 78018’13” E longitudes (Fig.1), covering an area of 3088 Km2. The total population, as per 1991 census, is 10,25,679 out of which 5,10,199 is rural. The district is divided into six community development blocks consisting of 764 villages. These blocks are Chakrata, Kalsi, Vikasnagar, Sahaspur, Raipur and Doiwala having 153, 204, 61, 120, 129 and 76 villages respectively.

Methodology and Results
For the present work, a village boundary map for all blocks of the district has been digitized using A0 size CALCOMP 9100 digitizer attached to ARC/INFO (ver. 7.2.1) GIS software. The digitizing errors have been corrected using ARCEDIT module. Nine registration points (TICS) have been used for registering the digitized map to the ground, and to transform the coverage from digitizer units to real-world coordinates. There are 725 inhabited villages in Dehradun district as per 1991 census.

Fig.1: The Study Area

The non-spatial data used for these villages include demographic and socio-economic data. Various facilities and services for the district considered in this study include:

  1. Education Facilities:
  2. Primary Schools
  3. Middle Schools
  4. High Schools
  5. Pre-University College
  6. Adult Education Centre
  7. Medical Facilities:
  8. Primary Health Sub-centre
  9. Primary Health Centre
  10. Health Centre
  11. Child Welfare Centre
  12. Maternity and Child Welfare Centre
  13. Maternity House
  14. Family Planning Centre
  15. Dispensary
  16. Hospital
  17. Registered Medical Practioner
  18. Drinking Water
  19. Post Office
  20. Approach Road to a Village
  21. Power Supply
  22. Market/Shopping Centre
  23. Literacy in a Village
  24. Irrigated Land in each Village

The above data are obtained from Census Handbooks of 1981 and 1991 and updated based upon the information collected from Tehsil, Block Development Offices and NIC, Dehradun. The TABLES module of ARC/INFO, which has most of the capabilities of a Data Base Management System, has been used for creating and managing the non-spatial data. These attributes of all villages are then associated with the corresponding spatial features.

An important aspect of integrated area-level planning is the combined analysis of the thematic natural resource data and the tabular socio-economic data. For this, a criteria based analysis of the integrated data bases has been carried out in GIS environment. User interactive program has been developed in GIS using Arc Macro Language (AML) of ARC/INFO GIS software.

The weightage to each facility has been assigned to reflect the true indication of its status in Dehradun district. In the present work, a centrality formula for assigning the weightage to different facilities has been used. It is based upon the principle that the greater the scarcity of function, the greater is its importance in terms of centrality and thus the higher its weightage (Khan 1990).

The weight of ith village (wi) can be written as:

where, N = Total number of villages
Fi = Number of villages having a facility

The composite index for ith village (Ci) for all the facilities is then computed from:

where, Xij = Value of jth function in ith village
m = Number of sub-functions in ith village

The Village Development Index (VDI) for each village has been computed by aggregating the composite indices of all facilities for that village. Relative weights for different facilities have been assigned based upon analytical hierarchical process proposed by Saaty (1980).

Finally, Composite Block Development Index (CBDI) for each block has been computed from the mean of VDI of all villages in that block. This index is considered to be an indicator of development in that block. The CBDI values, thus computed for each block, by doing programming using AML in GIS have been shown in Table 1.

The ranking of various blocks of Dehradun district, based upon their relative development, has been shown in Fig. 2, which has been generated using ARCPLOT module. In the figure, the village boundary map has also been shown. This overlay is very useful to carry out analysis based upon interactive queries for each village by linking it with the database of various facilities.

Table 1: CBDI for all blocks of Dehradun district.

It is found that Vikasnagar block is the most developed and Chakrata block the least developed in Dehradun district. So, more financial resources would be needed to further develop Chakrata block, at par with the facilities of Vikasnagar block. This finding is required to be confirmed from visits to the area before any concrete conclusion is drawn.

Next objective of this study is to analyse the least developed block in details and identify the villages that require the development of aforesaid facilities. This work is in progress and results shall be published elsewhere in due course of time.

Fig.2: Ranking of Blocks based upon CBDI

Concluding Remarks
A large data base consisting of nine major facilities in Dehradun district has been created using GIS technique. An approach has been developed to use this database to assess the relative development in all six blocks of the district. GIS is found to be extremely useful to establish links amongst all the facilities as well as to compute the various indices quickly on the basis of different weightage assigned to different facilities. The database is quite flexible in its design such that it can be easily updated and any complex transformation equation can be used involving all the facilities.

GIS is found to be a powerful tool for data integration and modelling for district level planning. In India, GIS is not being used by planners and decision makers as intensively as it should have been used. It is hoped that with the increased awareness and reduced cost of hardware and software in future, GIS technology will become a part of our life for planning even day to day activities.


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