The Rs. 1,800-crore project uses modern techniques, and it will be on the scale 1:10,000

Survey of India has taken up a special project on mapping the country using modernised technique at an estimate of Rs. 1,800 crore. This is considered the ‘biggest survey’ to be taken up so far across the world, said Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India, Survey of India (SoI).

In his acceptance address after receiving “IGS – Prof. B.M.T Life Time Achievement Award” at a function organised by the Department of Geography of Bharathidasan University and Indian Geographical Society, Chennai, here on Saturday, Dr. Rao said development in GIS technology facilitated SoI to release maps in digital format.

The current project on mapping would be on the scale 1:10,000 which meant that minute details right from platform, roads,and details of transformers would be available.

SoI had taken up mapping on 6,000-km coastal boundary with .5m contour interval which meant concrete data on the coast.

This would bring about efficient management and protection of coastal areas besides evolving and implementing precautionary steps prior to a storm and Tsunami, he said.

Gap in demand

Pointing out that there was a growing demand for GIS technique, he said the SoI’s endeavour in mapping New Delhi had resulted in the application of data by 33 departments.

With e-governance gaining popularity, he said the scope and prospects for graduates and postgraduates in GIS was on the rise. “But, only a few institutes across the country offer undergraduate course in GIS,” he pointed out.

Explaining the efficacy of unmanned aerial vehicle units in collecting data, particularly in fields and in surface water areas, he specifically promised adequate assistance if Bharathidasan University authorities took any initiative in this regard. Dr. Rao told presspersons that based on the success of the Delhi model, a few State governments had opted for mapping. In Delhi, 1,600 unauthorised colonies were identified. Multiple ration cards were cancelled. In Kanpur, the annual revenue shot up from Rs.10 crore to Rs.35 crore.

Karu. Nagarajan, Member Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education, who presented the award, emphasised the need for preserving groundwater and explained rainwater harvesting structures being set up across the State.

E. Ramganesh, Registrar in-charge of University, said the programme marked the valediction of the conference on “Sustainable resources management in Cauvery Basin in South India” and the workshop on “photogrammetry – principles and applications”.

Dr. Rao distributed prizes and certificates to winners in “young geographers talent test” and honoured retired geography teachers.