The North-East towns of Shillong and Gangtok are set to get facelifts with the help of scientific mapping. Using tools like comprehensive mapping with GIS, a $15-mn project funded by the Australian government will work out a model for revamping these two hill towns by November 2005. It is expected that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will extend a soft loan for implementing urban planning in five NE towns, including Shillong and Gangtok.
This is the first time that GIS mapping is being used so extensively in the north-eastern region. Peter Zoller, a former Australian diplomat and manager of the project, told that the GIS-aided exhaustive field study would be helpful for all aspects of urban reforms in the two towns.
The GIS mapping has also identified the present water supply and sanitation system, and the project will recommend steps to improve those areas as well. In fact, streamlining of the water supply system is a major challenge in urban planning of the North-East.