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Govt mapping Indian pilgrimage-town for boosting tourism

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The Indian state of Uttarakhand is planning to map the entire Kedarnath area, using satellite imagery.

India: The Indian state of Uttarakhand is planning to map the entire Kedarnath valley area, using satellite imagery. The decision has been taken to regulate tourism activities in the region. The temple town of Kedarnath is popular among tourists for its religious importance.

The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) has invited bids from consultant firms for surveying and mapping of Kedarnath Development Area (KDA) located in Rudraprayag district using satellite imagery data and aerial photography.

The last date for submission of bids is May 24 and the survey work is likely to be completed within six months of the allotment of work to the selected firm.

“The move is basically meant for mapping the area for tourism purpose. We’re creating a body which, based on the findings of the survey, will work to regulate tourism and construction activities in the area,” UTDB CEO Shailesh Bagauli told HT on Wednesday.

“A Master Plan will then be prepared for the KDA, which comprises an approximate area of 585 hectares, including the Kedarnath shrine and 9 surrounding villages,” he said.

As per officials, the move includes preparation of geographical information system (GIS) based base map and existing land use map of the KDA.

The revenue or cadastral maps (which define land ownership) of the area will also digitized and laid over the base map for detailed results. The UTDB will act as the monitoring agency for reviewing various stages of the mapping and surveying process.

The existing land use map will show all urban and rural settlement areas, cultivated areas, residential/commercial and community facilities including education, health, communication, drinking water and sanitation; water bodies, bridges and culverts and barren land among others.

Forming a part of the fabled Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage circuit of Uttarakhand, the Kedarnath shrine attracts a large number of pilgrims to its hallowed portals every year.

Last year, around 3.09 lakh pilgrims visited the shrine. In June 2013, the Kedar Valley was at the epicentre of a tragic disaster that left over 5,000 dead and thousands displaced.