India to prepare digital maps of all villages

New guidelines to help private firms prepare maps without approvals: Minister

February 15, 2022 10:53 pm | Updated 10:53 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Picture used for representational purposes. File

Picture used for representational purposes. File | Photo Credit: T. Vijaya Kumar

India plans to prepare digital maps of all its 6,00,000 villages and pan-India 3D maps will be prepared for 100 cities, Unio Science Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday at an event to mark a year of the updated geospatial policy guidelines.

An ongoing scheme, piloted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, called SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2020

The updated guidelines help private companies to prepare a variety of maps without needing approvals from a host of ministries and make it easier to use drones and develop applications via location mapping. The “trinity of geospatial Systems, drone Policy and unlocked Space Sector will be the hallmark of India’s future economic progress,” Dr. Singh said in a statement.

The complete geospatial policy would be announced “soon” as the liberalisation of guidelines had yielded very positive outcomes within a year’s time. The Geographical Information based system mapping would also be useful in forest management, disaster management, electrical utilities, land records, water distribution, and property taxation, he added.

Dr. Singh estimated the size of the Indian Geospatial market in 2020 to be ₹23,345 Crore including ₹10,595 crore of export which was likely to grow to ₹36,300 crore by 2025.

The SVAMITVA scheme was launched by PM Modi on April 24, 2020. The scheme, Mr. Modi said at its launch, would help establish “clear ownership” of property in rural areas by mapping of land parcels using drone technology and providing a ‘record of rights’ to eligible households by issuing legal ownership cards to them.

So far drone surveys have covered close to 1,00,000 villages and maps of 77,527 villages had been handed over to states. Property cards had been distributed to around 27,000 villages, according to current information on the SVAMITVA portal.

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