India: A GIS-based atlas depicting the environmental status of each district of the Indian state will be accessible online in 2011. The Environment Directorate will send the proposal to the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) for allocation of funds. “The atlas will be a public document and will be accessible to them. It will also be beneficial for the policy makers in the state as they can refer to the data online as well,” said Yashpal Singh, Director of Environment Directorate.
“The main reason for formulation of the data is to have all the relevant information accessible at one go. We will write to the centre in the next financial year for grant of funds as the project will cost us around INR 1.5 million.” continued Singh.
The atlas will be a thematic map and based on different parameters which will include details like administrative boundaries, environmental sensitive areas, land use, river and water quality, biodiversity hotspots and critical stretches of rivers and polluted areas. The centre has appointed a Delhi-based NGO, Development Alternatives, to help the state government develop the atlas. It will also help in the capacity building of the staff so that the data can be regularly updated.
“The data will be collected from various government departments which will be analysed and then projected on the map. We will have a proper online address for the maps so that it is easily accessible. We plan to complete the work by April next year, after which, it will be made available online,” said Anand Kumar Shrivastava, Programme Manager, Development Alternatives.
Once the maps are functional, they will be regularly updated as well. “We will ensure capacity building of the staff as well and will train them with the technical aspects so that the data can be updated at regular intervals,” continued Shrivastava.
Source: Indian Express