India: In its bid to finalise the territorial extent of the 123 villages in the state identified as ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs) by the high level working group (HLWG) led by K Kasturirangan for conservation of Western Ghats, Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) launched a verification of cadastral maps of ESA villages.
Cadastral mapping of 75% of the area in 123 villages is already complete and the remaining too will be ready soon. These maps prepared by the survey department are digitised by Kerala State Remote Sensing and Environment Centre (KSREC) and are distributed by KSBB to the panchayats for verification. The state level verification of maps by panchayats was expected to be over by April 30. However, the authorities are yet to announce if the verification process has been completed.
Initial verification of maps was done by the panchayat level committees. For that, KSBB distributed cadastral maps to the panchayats. Each panchayat in the 123 villages was provided with a physical copy of the cadastral map running into several sheets along with a soft copy in a CD and guidelines for verification.
The cadastral map has the field level data copied in a survey sheet on a scale of 1:5,000. The panchayat level committee were required to mark the forest areas, grasslands, shrubs, granite, water bodies, laterite and sandy grounds, streams, rivers, channels and ponds, human settlements, and farmlands and plantations in separate colours. The committees also has to plot the survey numbers and land use in excel sheets.
Source: Times of India