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GIS overview of Uttaranchal State, India

J.S.Rawat, S. Naithani, G. Rawat, C.M.S. Adhikari and V.S.Rawat
NRDMS Centre, Department of Geography, Kumaun University Campus
Almora-263611 Uttaranchal (India)

Introduction
In recent years, there has been increased need for more timely responses to promote effective administration, planning, decision-making and development process. The complexity and huge volume of timely data requirement for developmental planning have proved inadequate in the traditional methods of paper based data handling, spatial analysis and presentation. Preparation of resource profile at different levels ( i.e., national, state and district or below) using GIS should be our main objective. The GIS provides a systematic spatial and attribute database which is prerequisite for implementing development and research project; for drawing development strategies that are sustainable, area specific and take into account the local need; and to facilitate the process of decentralized (to smaller unit i.e. district or below) planning, and for more timely response to promote effective administration, planning, decision making and development process. The process of planning is being decentralized to smaller units i.e. (district or below) to facilitate drawing developmental strategies that are sustainable, area specific and takes into account the local needs. With increasing stress on decentralized planning there is an urgent need to develop state, district and lower level mechanism for effective natural and human resources database system which could help to the decision makers, planners, researchers and administrators in implementing there projects. Preparation of district level resource profile should be the primary activity for sustainable district level resource developmental planning.

In view of the significance of the systematic database under GIS environment for development of natural resources, a Natural Resource Database System (NRDMS) Centre at Almora in the Department of Geography, Kumaun University SSJ Campus, Almora has been establish under a DST,GOI research project.
Almora the 46th NRDMS centre of India
The DST, GOI has recently awarded a research project on “Setting up of Natural Resource Digital Database Centre at Almora, Uttranchal and Creation of an Integrated Database for Decentralized Planning (Rawat, 2002). Presently under the NRDMS programme of the DST, Government of India, 46 pilot district Database Centers are operational in different parts of our Country. With the help of above projects, 46th NRDMS Centre of our country was established in the Department of Geography, Kumaun University SSJ Campus Almora which was formally inaugurated by the Honorable State Minister of Science and Technology Government of India on 16th June 2003.
Objectives of the centre
The Fundamental objectives of the NRDMS Centre Almora are:

  • Development of Integrated Database as per the DST NRDMS Database Design.
  • Generation of Information and Sectorial Plans Needed by State/District Line Departments.
  • Development of Technology Base/ Basket, specific to the Need of Line Departments.
  • Training of the Officers of Line Departments/Researchers.
  • To provide assistance to State/District Authorities as and when required.

Study Area
Uttaranchal State (area 53586.53 km2) one of the newly emerged state of India (Fig.1) is drained by main perennial and non perennial river systems i.e. Ganga, Yamuna, Ram Ganaga, Kali, Saruyu, and Kosi, Suyal and many others Rao’s and base flows in Bhabhar and Tarai areas respectively. Presently it has Two Divisions (viz; Garhwal and Kumaun), 13 Districts ( viz; Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Chamouli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Pauri, Pithoragarh, Rudrapur, Tehri, Udam Singh Nagar and Uttarkashi).

Methodology

GIS Software
The Centre is using indigenous GIS software i.e., GRAM++ (Geo Referenced Area Management System) and Vec-Viewer developed by the DST Government of India through CSRE, IIT, Mumbai. The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India launched a project entitled Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS) to generate computer compatible, spatially oriented data base of natural resources and socio-economic parameters to facilitate area specific micro-level planning. The project has emphasized the development of comprehensive spatial database encompassing all the resources . This system (Gram++) operates on a small and relatively low budget configuration and can be used as a viable tool by local level planners (administrators, line departments, block development officers and even village panchyat representatives) for decentralized planning. The important characteristics of GRAM ++ is that it can be handle both vector and raster data and can be used in different natural resources assessment, village and district or rural and urban planning, resource conservation, watershed management, demographic analysis, trafficability studies, event mapping, marketing and business, alignment studied, environmental impact management and so on.

Thus, Gram++ is a tool which can collect, analyze and retrieve the spatial and non-spatial data speedily. The Gram++ has capability to spatial quarries for the maps generated in its domain. The tool contains the entire data in particular Geo-referenced mode. The facility of digitization, attribute assignment, registration, joining and analysis are being performed very well in this indigenous GIS package. Vec- Viewer is the supporting tool of the Gram++. It has the capacity to present the data in spatial form at any scale. It helps the user for generating thematic layers, the database quarries and map production generated in the Gram++.
Information Need Assessment
For the preparation of the GIS database for the District Almora -an information need assessment workshop (Rawat,2000) was organized to prepare the list of information needs of the stakeholders of local level planning, i.e., the different line departments (forest, agriculture, horticulture, soil conservation, jal nigam, jal sansthan, public work department, irrigation, tourism, education and electricity). A list of information needs of these line departments was workout (Rawat,2000) to prepare the GIS of natural and human resources of the Uttaranchal State in general and District Almora, in particular. Digitization of maps was started as per the list of the information needs of the stakeholders of local level planning.

Sensitization of GIS Technique
It is difficult, if not impossible to sensitize the GIS technique among the local level planners, i.e., district or below who are not aware about this latest GIS intervention in planning. To sensitize the GIS technique among the local level planners, a District Coordination Committee is constituted in District Almora. The committee is comprises of the District Administrators ( i.e., District Magistrate, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Chief Development Officer), and Heads of the Line Departments (i.e., Public Work Department, Forest, Agriculture, Horticulture,Soil Conservation, Irrigation, Tourism, Jal Nigam, Jal Sasthan, Education and Health etc.). This committee is headed by the District Magistrate Almora and the Principal Investigator of the NRDMS Centre Almora is the Coordinator. Through this committee a Nodal Officer from each line department for NRDMS activities has been appointed which is responsible to depute two officers from his department to bring the maps/data for digitization at the NRDMS Centre Almora. The deputed officers learn the use of GIS and do practically digitization work of their department information/maps under the supervision of NRDMS Centre Almora. They used to work for two to three weeks at Centre for learning and doing digitization work of their department and than go back to their department with the soft copy of digital data for their own use. In this way the Centre is sensitizing the use of GIS technique among the stakeholders of the local level planning and systematically preparing GIS database for as per users needs..
GIS Data Layers
With close association with the district administrators and nodal officers of the line departments as many as 56 spatial raster data maps at (3 in 1:1000000 and 53in1: 50,000 scale) (see section -Preliminary Outputs ) have been prepared so far by the Centre. The data for the study area have primarily been collected from the topographical maps Government Departments and topographic sheets.

Apart from above, integration of socio-economic data in the digitized State Uttaranchal (Fig. 1), Divisions of Uttaranchal (Fig. 2), Districts of Uttaranchal (Fig 3), District Almora of Uttaranchal (Fig 4), Tehsils of Almora (Fig 5) , Development Block s of Almora (Fig.6), and Nyay Panchyats of Almora (Fig.7); and also in Road, Medical , Electricity, Election and Education facilities maps, have been prepared on Vec Viewer environment.

Preliminary Outputs
Besides data collection, sensitization and digitization with simultaneous training of the government officials the Centre has created a) fifty six Vector maps ( at 1:50,000 scale) in the Gram++., b) Seven Master Database (MDB) files, and c) Seven Integrated Database on Vec-Viewer environment. Details of above maps/ database is given below.

Vector maps Digitized on GRAM++.

I- State Level at 1:10,00000

  1. State Outline Map of Uttranchal integrated with Database
  2. Division-wise Outline Map of Uttranchal integrated with Database
  3. District- wise Outline Map of Uttranchal integrated with Database

II- District Level at 1:50,000

  1. District Outline Map of Almora with integrated Socio-Economic Data.
  2. Tehsil Map of District Almora with integrated Socio-Economic Data .
  3. Development Block Map of District Almora with integrated Socio-Economic Data.
  4. Nyay Panchayat Map of District Almora with integrated Socio-Economic Data.
  5. Administrative Map of District Almora.
  6. Village Location Map of District Almora.
  7. State Highways Map of District Almora
  8. Major District Roads of District Almora
  9. Other District Road of District Almora
  10. Village Roads (Matelled) of District Almora
  11. Village Roads (Un-matelled) of District Almora
  12. Light Vehicle Roads(Matelled) of District Almora
  13. Light Vehicle Roads(Un-matelled) of District Almora
  14. Roads Underconstruction of District Almora
  15. Proposed Roads of District Almora
  16. Sanction Roads of District Almora
  17. Prime Minister Roads Under Construction of District Almora
  18. Child and Maternity Welfare Centres of District Almora
  19. Ayurvedic Hospitals of District Almora
  20. Allopathic Hospitals of District Almora
  21. Homeopathic Hospitals of District Almora
  22. Community Health Centres of District Almora
  23. Public Health Centres of District Almora
  24. Additional Health Centres of District Almora
  25. Base Hospital of District Almora
  26. District Hospital of District Almora
  27. Civil Hospital of District Almora
  28. Women Hospital of District Almora
  29. Government Inter Colleges of District Almora
  30. Government Girls Inter Colleges of District Almora
  31. Private Inter Colleges of District Almora
  32. Government Higher Secondary Schools of district Almora
  33. Government Girls Higher Secondary Schools of district Almora
  34. Private Higher Secondary Schools of District Almora
  35. Professotional Education Centres of District Almora
  36. Central Schools in District Almora
  37. Degree Colleges in District Almora
  38. Perennial Waterbodies (Streams and Springs) of District Almora.
  39. Non Perennial Warter bodies of District Almora
  40. Forest Cover of District Almora (1963AD).
  41. Agriculture Land of District Almora (1963AD).
  42. Barren Land of District Almora (1963AD).
  43. Raingauge Network of District Almora
  44. Temperature Gauge Network of District Almora
  45. Sunshine Recorder Network of District Almora
  46. Wind Vane Network of District Almora
  47. Evaporation Tank Network of District Almora
  48. Landslide Scars in District Almora
  49. Floodplains in District Almora
  50. Spot Heights in District Almora
  51. Waterfalls in District Almora
  52. Polling Areas of District Almora
  53. Polling Booths of District Almora

Master Database (MDB) File creation
MDB files of following has been created in MS-Access

  1. District Level Database of District Almora (42 fields).
  2. Tehsil Level Database of District Almora (42 fields).
  3. Block Level Database of District Almora (42 fields).
  4. Nyay Panchayat Level Database of District Almora (42 fields).
  5. State Level Database of Uttaranchal (17 Tables)
  6. Divisions Level Database of Uttaranchal State (4 tables)
  7. District Level Database of Uttaranchal State (4 tables)

Integrated Database Prepared

(D) Integration of Database with Vector Maps

The MDB and Vector files of following has been attached together for prompt results of queries-

  1. State Level (Uttaranchal, India) (Fig. 1)
  2. Division Level (Uttaranchal, India) (Fig. 2)
  3. District Level (Uttaranchal, India). (Fig. 3)
  4. District Almora of Uttaranchal, India (Fig. 4)
  5. Tehsils Level, District Almora, Uttaranchal. (Fig. 5)
  6. Blocks Level, District Almora, Uttaranchal. (Fig. 6)
  7. Nyay Panchayats Level, District Almora, Uttaranchal (Fig. 7)

The software Vec-Viewer having above mentioned database has been installed in the computers of following Line Departments of district Almora, Uttaranchal for their use:

1. District Magistrate, 2. The Chief Engineer, Public Work Department, 3. Superintendent Engineer, Public Work Department, ,4. Chief Development Office, Almora 5.Executive Engineer, Uttranchal Pey Jal Nigam, 6. Chief Medical Officer, Almora.

Expected outputs from The Project

The following outputs are expected from this project.

  • Integrated State/District Database with online interaction.
  • GIS based Digital Database of Natural Resources and Socioeconomic aspects.
  • Development of Sustainable Plans for Selected Sectors.
  • Generation of Action Plans for Selected Sectors
  • Technology Baskets Specific to the Needs of the Line Departments
  • Improved Planning Tools and Methodologies.
  • Trained Human Resource.
  • Technology Base/Basket Specific to Resources.
  • Fully Equipped and Well Established NRDMS Center for the State Uttaranchal of India.

Acknowledgement
This paper constitute a part of DST Govt. of India project, new Delhi on Setting-up of Natural Resource Digital Database Centre at Almora, Uttranchal and Creation of an Integrated Database for Developmental Planning.

References

  • Rawat, J.S. (2000): Information Need Assessment Workshop on Land and Water Resources in Almora District, Sponsored by DST, New Delhi and Kumaun Univeristy Campus Almora in association of the District Administration, Almora, Techniocal Report,, Department Geography, Kumaun Univeristy Campus, Almora, pp. 1-42.
  • Rawat, J.S., (2002): Setting-up of Natural Resource Digital Database Centre at Almora and Creation of an Database for Developmental Planning, DST Project, Department of Geography, Kumaun University Campus Almora.