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ISRO shows the way for urban waste management

Chennai/ Bangalore, India, 12 July 2006: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is coming to the rescue of cities in solving their biggest challenge – waste disposal. ISRO’s expertise in Remote Sensing is being used in ‘urban waste management’.

“We are already using Remote Sensing and communication satellites like Cartosat-1, Resourcesat-1 and the IRS series of satellites to obtain a wide variety of high resolution images and data in spatial resolutions,” said P G Diwakar, Head, Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre (RRSSC), ISRO.

He said that space application gives them very high resolution images. “The 2.5m high resolution data obtained from Cartosat-1 can be used in locating the drainage map and the exact area for the disposal of waste. The data is also useful to locate for urbanisation, soil texture, infrastructure, ground water prospects, road network and land use,” he added.

For earmarking garbage dumps, ISRO has prepared a three-dimensional model and this is used to find garbage dumps so that the wastes do not flow into the water bodies in the low-lying areas. Application of Remote Sensing and GIS can be used to facilitate site selection for solid waste disposal.

The RRSSC of ISRO at Jodhpur has developed a customised geographical information system package called ‘Package for Optimum Routing, Interactive Resource Allocation and facility Management’ (Parikrama). This helps in network-related applications and can be customised for efficient management of solid waste disposal.

“ISRO is working with many other departments in implementing the solid waste management system. The model which ISRO has developed can be applied to smaller cities like Bangalore in managing the solid urban waste,” said K Kasturirangan, former chairman of ISRO and Rajya Sabha MP.

The Ranchi Municipality in Jharkhand, which has 37 wards with an area of 177.19 sq km, is using customised solutions of ISRO in tracing suitable landfill sites, the areas that generate the highest amount of waste and the shortest possible route to transport them to the landfill sites. “They have initially implemented our suggestions for the smaller areas and are in the process of implementing this in the larger areas,” said Diwakar.