The government of West Bengal in India has started preparing land-use maps for all 18 districts. The science and techno-logy department, under charge of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee himself, is preparing the maps with the help of remote sensing, satellite imaging and physical verification. Separate maps are being prepared for each district. They will be made in a way that anybody can find the latest position of land use in any particular area and also its character. The work is expected to be complete in six months. The maps will help identify unused land. They will also help in spotting any particular plot or large chunks of land required to set up an industrial unit or township or to construct buildings, roads or canals. They will also specify which kind of industry can be set up where.
As demand for land to set up industrial units and build townships or housing complexes is high in districts North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly — all in the vicinity of Calcutta — special emphasis is being laid on preparing the maps of these four districts. The land-use map for Burdwan is also being considered important. Scientists engaged in the exercise said the character of land and how it is used can be found out using remote sensing, besides locating water sources and ascertaining quality of water, groundwater reserves, soil pattern, character of soil, population density and road connectivity. The map would be helpful in taking up development projects and setting up industrial units while keeping a watch on the environment.