India to focus on spatial information for urban development

India to focus on spatial information for urban development


India: Indian government will consider spatial development plans before clearing projects under the second phase of its flagship mission Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNRUM) from 2014.

Indian cities are divided into zones according to their land-use, such as residential zones, commercial zones and mixed land-use zones. During the first phase of JNNURM, city development plans focused on zoning. Bengaluru-based NGO Jana Urban Space Foundation has submitted the National Urban Spatial Planning Design (NUSPD) guidelines to the government in April. Recent media reports suggest that the spatial plans in the second phase will be based on these guidelines. The new approach will aim at making the development plans more comprehensive by taking the adjoining region into consideration. This would mean that the city authorities will have to justify projects based on their impact on a comprehensive, spatial view of the city. It also means that geospatial technology will be given importance in second phase of JNNURM.

This is because the Working Group on Urban Strategic Planning under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty has emphasised on establishing institutional ownership for GIS data through Urban Information Systems. The Working Group also has mentioned the importance of creating Urban Spatial Data Centres (SDC) at the state level to provide reliable and current spatial data. The Working Group has further said that the value of GIS spans across land records, land management, municipal tax charges, monitoring services such as water supply, roads, waste management, etc. It states that the Metropolitan Spatial Data Cell can be linked to the State SDC such that the base maps rest with the SDC, but the MSDC can overlay data layers and modify these as required.