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GIS aids e-Governance initiative in rural West Bengal

In a step towards e-governance and transparent administration, West Bengal is becoming India’s first state to prepare GIS of gram panchayats, state rural development and panchayat department. The rural development and panchayat department in collaboration with a private agency, Riddhi Services have prepared the GIS, which is easily accessible and user friendly. State health minister Dr Surya Kanta Misra will inaugurate the GIS at Salt Lake today, 15th November, 2004. The panchayats being an integral part in planning and implementing strategic intervention programme at the grassroot level, gram panchayat GIS has become essential to mark out important areas for planning accordingly.

Panchayat pradhans and block development officers will be trained so that they can update the data every month. Location of the panchayats, demographic data, information regarding population, child population, condition of the agriculture labours, workmen and others will be included in the GIS. Information regarding economic condition of people, literacy rate will be known from the GIS. Accordingly, steps shall be taken for the economically poor panchayats. New industries and cottage industries with an improved infrastructure can be introduced at places after analysing the information received through the GIS.

The GIS of the gram panchayats will also be used to help in solving the problems faced by women and children. The flow of information will help the panchayat department to function in a better way. The new system will also present the state government with a clear picture what the NGOs are doing in the villages and ensure speedy development of the villages by launching projects with them. The officer said that the role of panchayats have become more important after the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution. There have been initiatives to ingrate bureaucracy, panchayats and the community for sustainable development of the villages.