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GIS for Environmental Planning

M. P. Narayanan, Y. S. Rajan, N. P. Gupta and Dilip Biswas 
(L to R) in inaugural session

A day-long National Workshop on GIS for Environmntal Planning and Industrial development, jointly organised by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Centre for Spatial Data Management and Solutions (CSDMS) at the India International Centre was held on 16th February this year. The objective of the workshop was spreading awareness about the merits of mapping in environmental planning using Zoning Atlases, facilitating interaction among the users/potential users and solution providers and also providing a platform for effective deliberations among environmental experts and industry representatives. The main highlights were GIS technology demonstration, presentations by users, case studies from India and abroad as well as participation by key experts in the field.

Industry representatives concerned with site selection, environment planning, technological development, rehabilitation plans and social development, environmental consultants and planners, environmental NGOs and decision-makers concerned with industrial policy and environmental policy participated at the workshop. At the inaugural ceremony, presided by N. P. Gupta, President, Desein Private Ltd.; the welcome address was delivered by Prof. Dilip Biswas, Chairman, CPCB and introductory remarks were given by M. P. Narayanan, President, CSDMS. In the keynote address Y. S. Rajan, Senior Adviser, Technical Division, CII said that the key elements in environment planning is PPM i.e. Prevention, Promotion and Mitigation.

The workshop consisted of three technical sessions on ‘Industrial and Environmental Policy’, ‘Zoning Atlas’ and ‘Industrial Zone Planning’ respectively and a panel discussion. The first technical session was chaired by A. N. Banerjee, the former Chairman of Environmental Appraisal Committee for Industries, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India and co-chaired by P. V. Sridharan of TERI. Three papers were presented in this session; the first one on ‘Environmental Policies and Programmes of India’ by G. V. Subramanium. The second on ‘Environmental Planning as a Tool for Sustaining Industrial Development – Experience from Germany by Gerhard Werner of GTZ and the tnird was by Raghu Babu from CPCB on ‘Need for Environmental Planning in India’. The chairperson was K. B. Thakur, Director of Environmental Division, BICP. Anand Kumar of CPCB discussed about ‘Zoning Atlas – overview and programme details’, Prabhat Chaturvedi of UPPCB dealt with ‘Zoning atlas for siting of industries on environmental aspect – District Ghaziabad’ and Raghu Babu of CPCB explained the scope and implications of zoning atlas for sites and industries. Four papers on industrial zone planning in the third session by Ashwini Kumar of CPCB, S. Ranganathan, Product Manager of Tata Infotech, Prof. Prabhakar Mishra of Kampsax India Ltd. and by Centre for Resource Education, Hyderabad. At the end,a panel discussion was coordinated by M. P. Narayanan. The panelists were Arup Dasgupta, Gerhard Werener, N. K. Jain, N. Raghubabu, P. Mishra and P. Nag.