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G-tech for healthier cities and people

Gurgaon, India: The concluding day of India Geospatial Forum, organised here by Geospatial Media & Communications, witnessed several sessions as part of the vertical conference GeoGov. 
In the session role of Geo-ICT in Municipality, PS Uttarwar, Director (Planning), Dwarka Project, Delhi Development Authority, elaborated on the benefits of municipal GIS in managing municipal tasks such as property tax, birth and death registration, socio economic data management and holding registration, adding that it links the corresponding database with the geospatial view of the current municipal area. He also highlighted the institutional support required to have a full-fledged municipal GIS at various administrative levels. This includes incorporating geospatial operations to manage, update and maintain database and system (at municipality level); need for a dedicated team of geospatial personnel to utilise funds (at taluka level); dedicated funds for geospatial development (at district level), and need for geospatial budget (at state level). Vijay Kumar, Practice Director (Geospatial Technology), TCS, stressed on the need to automate the complete process from bottom level rather than just focus on GIS. Pritish Bisoyi, Senior Consultant, Pitney Bowes Software India stressed that the solutions for municipalities should have the following three components: location intelligence, data enrichment and citizen data. He also informed the audience about the solutions offered by the company for municipalities, including the data product Street Pro India for select cities in India that do not have base maps. Shrinivas Khandure of Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre informed the audience about the pilot municipal GIS project undertaken in Nagpur City. Ishan Das, Assistant General Manager, detailed about the Urban Property Ownership Records project undertaken by the company for the government of Karnakata through a public private partnership model. 
G-tech can enhance health services significantly.   Geo ICT can efficiently be used for disease surveillance, identification of high risk areas for prompt treatment; analysing spatio temporal disease trends and predicting future scenario for prompt control; prioritising areas for intense/ prompt control activity; improving hospital management; monitoring toxic spills to protect the health hazard of nearby residents; facilitating demographic analysis to estimate the demand for various types of services; marketing pharmaceuticals; conducting market studies and document health care needs of a community; maintaining locational inventories of health care facilities, providers, and vendors and locating the nearest health care facility or health care provider on the Web, observed Aruna Srivastava and B.N. Nagpal of National Institute of Malaria research. Sharing her vision on the future of GIS in health services, Dr. Madhulekha Bhattacharya, Professor & Head, Deptt of Community Health, Acting Director, National Institute of Health & Family Welfare said the need of the hour is to have a GIS hub at the district level with multi sectoral data sets, for analysing and presenting the data to the district and health administrators for use and support functions. 
The day also witnessed a session on the role of geo-ICT in forestry. AK Wahal, Director General, Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India informed the audience about the initiative of the establishment of National Forestry Information System in the country that aims to be a decision support system for the planning processes in environment and forestry. The system envisages creation of a node at FSI that would have all layers of information related to forests in the country. Some nodes would also be at state forestry headquarters, and all the nodes will be linked. The system is set to become operational from the next financial year. Also in the session, ML Srivastava, Joint Director, NFDMC, Forest Survey of India detailed the latest technology interventions and initiatives by the organisation using g-tech. Some such initiatives include national level mapping for forest type and forest cover, near real time monitoring of forest fires, coastal zone mapping, natural disaster assessment and impact of land use land cover change.   Source: Our Correspondent