Other urban areas to follow similar procedure using satellite imagery of NRSA, Survey of India maps

The Khammam draft master plan has become the case study for other urban areas in the country to go for advanced planning utilising satellite imagery of the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), maps supplied by the Survey of India (SOI) and ground validation within the next two years, said Union Secretary for Urban Development Sudhir Krishna.

Announcing the renewed launch of the National Urban Information System (NUIS) initiated by the Union Ministry of Urban Development for preparing master plans utilising the ‘Bhuvan’ portal of NRSA at a press conference, Mr. Sudhir Krishna said a toolkit too has been formulated for the same.

Workshop

The toolkit, along with a demonstration of the services for town planners including the Khammam case study, was made at the one-day workshop on ‘NUIS scheme with special emphasis on Bhuvan’ at NRSA attended by 250 municipal commissioners and planners from all over the country.

Mr. Sudhir Krishna said State-level training programmes would commence shortly within the next three months for using the technology during which time all urban satellite maps would be made accessible through ‘Bhuvan’ as also GOI maps which was a significant step.

There are 7,935 urban areas in the country of which about 4,000 have notified their respective master plans. In the State, of the 170 urban areas, 90 municipalities and 23 urban development authorities have master plans. “Master Plans are a must for urban areas with proper mapping of the utilities like water, sewage, environment and even metro needs for the next 20 years to tackle the fundamental problems of cities. Mid-term reviews of the master plans can also be made under NUIS,” he said.

NUIS was initiated in 2006 and 152 urban areas in different parts of the country were chosen for preparing the geospatial database in the first phase with the Directorate of Town & Country Planning (DTCP) as the nodal agency. Funds were not a constraint as each unit would cost up to Rs. 20 lakh only and funds could also be sourced from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), said the Union Secretary.

NRSA Director V.K. Dadhwal said efforts to make ‘Bhuvan’ user friendly was a “continuous process” and did not want any comparison with Google Earth as there was a restriction in the picture resolution unlike the latter.