Geospatial approach to plan zoning atlas

Geospatial approach to plan zoning atlas


Assoc Vice President, Rolta
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

The present paper describes techniques to zone and classify areas for siting of Industries using both Remote Sensing data and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Remote Sensing data provides reliable, timely, accurate, and periodic data, while Geographic Information System (GIS) provide various methods of integration tools to create different planning scenarios for decision making. Hence an attempt is made here to brief methodologies to generate spatial data pertaining to Land Use, Water Resources, Environmental parameters such as Air and Water quality and integration of these thematic layers using overlay techniques of GIS. The final output will be the Digital Zoning Atlas for siting of Industries, which can be effectively used as

  1. Ready reckoner for suitable sites for industries and relevant environmental information;
  2. Simple and transparent tools for decision-making process which helps in planning cost-effective pollution control measures and program,
  3. A good decision-making tool to develop infrastructure facilities, such as roads, water supply, electricity etc. and provide common waste treatment and disposal facilities

The industrial pollution has been considered as one of the major threat to environment and hence the concept of sustainable development has been evolved over a period of several decades. To achieve the goals and objectives of this concept, several countries have been actively involved in preparation of zoning Atlas, which can be used as ready reckoner to identify sites suitable for various types of industries. One such attempt was initiated in India through Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, Bangalore and later the Central Pollution Control Board in collaboration with German Technical Cooperation (GTC) has taken up this initiative on a large scale.

The objectives of preparing a Zoning Atlas for siting of industries have been

  • To identify locations for siting of industries; and
  • To zone and classify the environment in a District;
  • To identify industries suitable to the identified sites.

The present paper is review of existing methodology being adopted; its limitations and further scope to improve the existing process flow using Image processing and basic IT solutions for automation.

Methodology: The zoning, for siting of industries, is made through integration of various thematic maps on (1:2,50,000 i.e. 1cm = 2.5km) using overlay techniques and elimination of areas unsuitable for industrial activity due to different environmental conditions. The methodology to be followed and various thematic maps required for preparation of Zoning Atlas is presented in Figure 1. Since thematic maps are being at smaller scale and they are from different sources, following are some of the limitations in Zoning Atlas

  • The maps of the atlas are prepared on 1:2,50,000 scale (1 cm = 2.5km) which means micro-level details cannot be considered.
  • The Atlas takes into consideration only the environmental factors for siting industries and no economic considerations have been taken into account.
  • The information available on various themes may not be up-to-date
  • The identified suitable zones are based on studies on 1:2,50,000 scale and based on whatever is the data available. Hence, the above conclusions only provide guidelines for taking decisions on industrial sites and cannot be considered as consent to establish industries. Micro-level detailed studies are to be carried to evaluate EIA (CPCB)

Keeping present limitations in mind the present paper primarily address the process flow for preparation of thematic map generation mainly the Lanuse Map, physiography map, and the process flow for preparation of Ground Water sensitivity map using GIS techniques. Even though details of Air pollution also needs to be integrated to prepare zoning atlas the details of the same is beyond the scope of this paper.