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e-MANCHITRA: A step towards geo-enabled decentralized planning and decision making in Uttar Pradesh

The Planning Department of Uttar Pradesh Government is collecting data on more than 4000 parameters from various socio-economic sectors to implement decentralised, integrated district and local level planning to promote balanced development, especially in the rural areas

Decentralised, integrated district and local level planning promotes balanced development, especially in rural areas. The 73rd and 74th amendments to the constitution have bestowed greater responsibilities and powers to the local bodies, positioning them as the third tier of governance. Meaningful planning process is the most efficacious tool for good governance as it is a sensitive instrument for removing regional disparities and redressing regional imbalances; But, in order to be effective and accurate, the planning process has to be supported by up-to-date and real time data to attain sustainable, equitable and spatially well dispersed development. Without fulfilling this imperative, decentralised planning would lose its delivering edge. It is the right time for geospatial domain vision to emerge, that will enable not only the policy makers, but the technology developers, industry and user segments to have as a guiding path for incorporating ”e” and ”g” technologies within their respective work areas.

The Planning Department of Uttar Pradesh Government (GoUP) is collecting data on more than 4000 parameters from various socio-economic sectors like agriculture, industry, social sector, power, urban facilities, rural infrastructural facilities etc. at village, block and district levels. This information has been annually published and maintained in the form of block, district and divisional Sankhyikiya Patrikas (SPs) in more than 100 tables/sub-tables, since 1973, 1977 & 1981 respectively. The manual system inherits the inconsistency, redundancy, inaccuracy, time lag in the data and variations in tables, formats, years etc. In the year 1993, SP was analysed and it was found that the total data available in the state was approximately 9.30 lakhs, out of which 3.20 lakhs obtained by calculation, 1.35 lakhs needed entry/checking (related to censuses) only once, while 4.75 lakhs to be entered every year. More than 1000 maps/charts were also prepared and published in SPs every year. Based on SP data, state planning atlases got prepared manually from outsourced agencies as and when required and for the same, Planning Department was paying heavily. The latest manual atlas available with the department is for the year 2000. To overcome the maladies affecting the manual system and to reduce the workload and to increase the efficiency, transparency and visualization of the data, SPIDER (Sankhyikiya Patrika : Internet based Data Entry and Retrieval ) and e-MANCHITRA (Map based Analytical Charting and Reporting Application ) geo portals have been developed over the period. Location-based study has also been carried out on a pilot basis for Mau district.

e-MANCHITRA
In the year 2003, on the request of Planning Department, GoUP and with the approval of DG, NIC, a Bilingual State Planning Atlas (SPA) using GIS tools, was prepared by NIC, Uttar Pradesh for the first time and since then, SPAs are annually published using GIS tools in the book forms as well as on the web. On a pilot basis, Lucknow District Planning Atlas (DPA) was prepared using Arc View GIS tools and SP databases in the year 2006 at the first time in book form as well as on the web and the same was inaugurated by Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh on 30th August, 2007. DPAs in all the districts of Uttar Pradesh are also being prepared for the year 2009 onwards. Realising the potential of the geospatial technology, Planning Department, GoUP and NIC, Uttar Pradesh jointly conceptualized an INR 5 crore, GIS project during the year 2008-09 for creating GIS infrastructures and generating a large number of online thematic maps and charts for understanding the gaps in the decentralised planning and measuring sustainable developments at the village, block and district panchayat levels.

GIS cells have been set-up in all the districts and at the Headquarter of Planning Department during the year 2009-10 and are networked for exchanging geospatial information. e-MANCHITRA has been developed using Arc GIS Web ADF for Microsoft .NET for generating annually more than 10 thousand thematic maps and charts on equal as well as on unequal intervals: (i) state with regions (ii) state with divisions (iii) state with districts (iv) region with districts (v) division with districts (vi) district with blocks and (vii) block with gram panchayats (GPs). Indicators displayed with dynamic thematic maps are automatically generated through SPIDER portal and reaches via link server in geo-database of Arc GIS server where GPs, blocks, districts, divisional, regional and state boundaries are already available. For all levels, thematic maps are available for the years 2009, 10, 11 and 12 except block with GPs. Block with GPs thematic maps of Mau district are available for the year 2009 only. The e-MANCHITRA Geo Portal home page is depicted in Fig. 2.1.


Fig. 2.1: e-MANCHITRA Geo Portal home page

SPIDER Portal
Online SPIDER portal was developed using ASP at the front-end and SQL Server at the back-end to facilitate data entry/updation directly on centralised server at NIC Data Centre located at Lucknow from all the districts/divisions in a decentralised manner. SP databases are available of all the districts, blocks and villages for the years 1995-2012 by applying the modules: (i) data entry/updation (village, block, town & district) (ii) report generation (GP with villages, block with GPs, district with blocks, division with districts) (iii) query system (village, block, district, state) and (iv) Map based query system (block, district) of SPIDER portal, while work is in progress for the year 2013. Two more modules: GP-SP and Block-SP have been added in SPIDER portal for strengthening the GP and Block databases and tested on year 2009 real data of Mau district. The SPIDER Geo Portal home page is depicted in Fig. 3.1.


Fig. 3.1: SPIDER Portal home page

Integrated SPIDER and e-MANCHITRA Geo Portal
Integrated e-MANCHITRA geo portal with SPIDER portal reflects the changes occurred in SPIDER data simultaneously in the form of thematic maps/graphs. A module of SPIDER portal automatically generates and sends indicators to geo-database of Arc GIS server (where GPs, blocks, districts, divisional, regional and state boundaries are already available) using link server technology of SQL Server. The integrated architecture of SPIDER & e-MANCHITRA geo portal has been depicted in Fig. 4.1.


Fig. 4.1: Integrated architectural view of SPIDER & e-MANCHITRA Geo Portal


Integrated SPIDER & e-MANCHITRA geo portal has made possible three-way information visualisation in the form of tables, maps and graphs. Some snapshots are given as below:

Map Snapshots


Fig. 4.2.: Classification of district of Uttar Pradesh according to composite index of development based on 31 important indicators (year-2012)

 


Fig. 4.3.: Classification of regions of Uttar Pradesh according to composite index of development based on 31 important indicators (year-2012)

 


Fig. 4.4: Classification of districts in Azamgarh division according to consumption of fertilizer per hectare of gross area sown

 


Fig. 4.5: Classification of blocks in Mau district according to percentage of electrified villages to total inhabited villages

Mau District Pilot Study

Mau district is situated on the fertile plains of the Ganges-Ghaghara doab. It lies between 83° 17” to 84° 52” East & 24° 47” to 26°17” North. At its north, Ghaghara river is on the border, Ghazipur district is on the south, Ballia district is on the east & Azamgarh district is on the west side. This district represents geographical characteristics of mid Gangetic plain. “Khachari” and “Khadar” are types of soil in the areas of north of Azamgarh – Ballia Road and the river flow is absent in the southern part of the district, due to which that area has Bangar type of soil, which is less fertile. The river system of the district is dominated by the Tons River and its tributary Choti Sarju. There are 6 towns, 9 blocks (as depicted in Fig. 5.1), 596 GPs and 1622 villages (1499 inhabited+123 uninhabited) in the district.


Fig. 5.1: Blocks of Mau district

Key findings

The geospatial case study reveals the following:

  • There are 16 GPs spread in 5 blocks of Mau district where village boundaries of the same GP are non-adjacent as depicted in Fig. 5.1.1.
  • Chak Sahja GP consisting Chak Sahja & Chakaudhi villages of Muhammadabad Gohna block of Mau district is surrounded from 3 sides (east, west and north) by Jahanaganj block of Azamgarh district and the southern side touches Ranipur block of the Mau district but it does not touches anywhere to Muhammadabad Gohna block boundary. Hence, it creates problem for people belonging to this GP for availing day to day government facilities as depicted in Fig. 5.1.2.
  • Murarpur GP consisting villages Jaitpur, Murarpur, Babhanauli, Tendwa & Kasimpur of Ghosi block is surrounded from three sides (east, south & west) by Fatehpur Madaun block and north by Dohri Ghat block of Mau district but it does not touches anywhere to Ghosi block boundary as depicted in Fig. 5.1.3. Hence, it creates problem for people belonging to this GP for availing day to day government facilities.
  • Chakki Musadohi GP consisting Chakki Musadohi & Musadosi villages of Fatehpur Madaun block is surrounded from all the sides by Ghaghra river and both villages are also separated by Ghaghra rivulets, though they are inhabited and are prone to flood as depicted in Fig. 5.1.4 and 5.1.5.
  • Belauli Sonbarasa GP consisting Belauli Sonbarasa & Duhia Diliya villages of Fatehpur Madaun block is situated on the bank of Ghaghra river and Duhia Diliya village is divided in 3 parts by the rivulets of Ghaghra river though these villages are inhabited and are prone to flood as depicted in Fig. 5.1.6.
  • These findings are ground tested, however, some more findings are possible after in depth geo-spatial analysis.

Fig. 5.1.1 : GPs where village boundaries of the same GP are non-adjacent

 


Fig. 5.1.2: Chaksahaja GP”s Citizens Difficulties in Availing Common Facilities

 


Fig. 5.1.3: Murarpur GP location and classification of GPs of Ghosi block of Mau district according to development composite index

 


Fig. 5.1.4: Satellite view of Ghaghara River and surrounding GPs/Villages of Mau district

 


Fig. 5.1.5: Satellite View of Ghaghara River and Surrounding Gram Panchayats

 


Fig. 5.1.6 Satellite View of Ghaghara River and Belauli Sonbarasa GP

Challenges Faced

  • Official data captured from census (population, agriculture, livestock, educational, economic Census etc.), surveys & as a by-product of government departments had different formats
  • Variations in parameters, formats, years, tables and levels
  • Rectification of inconsistent, redundant, duplicate, erroneous spatial and non-spatial data received from different sources and their integration was a challenge
  • Creation of GIS infrastructure, procurement of hardware/software, spatial data and geospatial technology know how was a challenge
  • Geography/fine art graduates/post graduates, cartographers/artists were in all the district/divisional and HQ. Offices but there were resistance and fear among the staff to adopt ICT/Geospatial technologies in the beginning
  • To overcome the resistance and fear of officials, a number of trainings on ICT/geospatial technologies and on their applications were conducted
  • Integrated SPIDER & e-MANCHITRA geo portals were modified from time to time to accommodate the technological changes as well as changes in tables, parameters, years and formats as per demand and GoI guidelines.

Salient features

  • These portals have reduced redundancy, inconsistency, inaccuracy, time lag, variations in formats, tables, years, levels etc. and improved interoperability, transparency, reliability, scalability and visualization of data in the form of information, knowledge and wisdom.
  • Integration of SPIDER & e-MANCHITRA portals have made possible to reflect the changes occurred in SPIDER, simultaneously on thematic maps generated by e-MANCHITRA geo portal.
  • Three-way data visualisation in the form of tables, maps and charts have become possible.
  • Public representatives, planners, administrators, institutions, NGOs, citizens etc. are identifying the inter-GP, inter-block, inter-district, inter-divisional and inter-regional socio-economic disparities using these portals and bringing transparency in the strengthening of decentralised integrated planning and decision makings.
  • Integrated geo portal has made people participation possible in planning and decision making process and empowered demand for under developed areas.
  • State government is saving more than INR 8 crore per year after the implementation of these portals.
  • This is a step from towards g-governance from e-governance.

Conclusion

  • Horizontal and vertical online data entry/updation and sharing of information have become possible by integrating SPIDER & e-MANCHITRA portals on a 24×7 basis.
  • Parameters, years, levels, tables, maps and charts have been standardised.
  • Three-way data visualisation in the form of tables, maps and charts have become possible.
  • Citizens, public representatives, administrators, planners, NGOs, etc. have been empowered in identifying the inter-village panchayat, inter-block, inter-district, inter-divisional and inter-regional disparities.
  • Transparency in the system has also brought demand for developing under-developed areas.
  • These portals are also helping in planning and decision making in Panchayati Raj institutions.
  • The government is saving annually about INR 8 crore after implementation of these portals.