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Focus on PPP and collaboration to create efficient land management systems

Hyderabad: Managing spatial information in a collaborative partnership of government authorities, private sector and citizens were fundamental to effective land management. That was message from the speakers at the session on ‘Monetising Modern Land Management Practices’ held on the second day of the India Geospatial Forum here on Thursday.

Opening the session, Bruce Thompson, Deputy Secretary, Department of Environment and Primary Industry, Government of Victoria, Australia, exemplified how the government had entered a strong partnership with the private sector to build the cadastre and set up an open, user-friendly land management system in Victoria. The custodian of this system is a council, which is a multi-sectorial body with representatives from the ministries, local authorities, the private sector and citizens. “Such a model of custodianship eliminates mistrust between the stakeholders,” he said, adding that partnering the private sector drives progress, reduces tunnel vision, encourages innovation and drastically brought down the cost.

Kevin Daugherty, World Wide Sales Manager – Administration Solutions, Trimble Navigation, also explained how building a national land registration system on a PPP basis increases operational efficiency. Citing the case of Belize, Daughtery said in addition to operational efficiency, such a system cut time and costs and also increased transparency. This also ensures accuracy and uniformity of data as all departments within the Ministry of Natural Resources (the custodian of the land management system in Belize) are using the same data for their work projects and have an integrated workflow.

While talking about collaborating various technologies, T. Ravishankar of the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) highlighted the work done of his organisation in this field. Over the past two decades, the demand for land in India has gone up manifold for developmental activities, he said, pointing out that per capita availability of land has declined from 0.9 hectares (ha) in 1951 to 0.3 ha in 2001 and is projected to go down to 0.1 ha by 2035. Good land management results in good spatial data infrastructure and good governance, thus leading to a spatially enabled society. Remotely sensed data had for long been used in India to identify problem areas to map land and identify change patterns, he said, adding that ISRO had a range of satellites to deal with even up to sub-metre level resolution. NRSC’s Bhuvan portal offered free download service for the public for some of this data, he said, while stressing that since all this had been created with public money, it had to be made available to the people. However, Ravishankar had a word of advice for the geospatial industry. “The industry needs to redefine itself to meet the growing demands and sell its services to people who are not experts in this field,” he said.

Source: Our correspondent