Govt. to use IT for better civic amenities

NEW DELHI JAN. 28. The Delhi Government will extensively use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for better management of existing basic civic amenities including laying of drainage system, transportation, water supply system, checking illegal construction and identifying faulty street lights, the Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, announced here today.

Inaugurating Asia's largest international conference on GIS and GPS, Map India 2003, Ms Dikshit said major cities in the world are using this new field of Information Technology for welfare of the people and improve civic amenities. This, she said, will help in saving the urban centres from facing collapse.

Stating that unplanned urbanisation, industrialisation and development of infrastructure is already taking its toll on the health of the city, the Chief Minister said to set things right a pilot project has already been initiated involving Delhi Transport Corporation buses. The vehicles are being fitted with GPS system to improve their services and for better management of existing routes.

``A bus fitted with GPS system can be tracked through satellite system to make sure it makes its full day trips. Simultaneously, GIS will be used for improving health care, controlling pollution and checking unauthorised construction,'' she declared.

Ms Dikshit also gave away awards to four organisations -- Reliance Infocomm, Department of Science and Technology, Registrar General of India, and Government of Karnataka -- for using GIS for mass benefit.

In his address, the former Union Power Minister, Suresh Prabhu, called upon the state electricity boards and private distribution companies to extensively use GIS and GPS for improving their utility services, including distribution network and transformers, and checking distribution losses and ensuring prompt restoration of services.

The chairman of the Centre for Spatial Database Management and Solutions, M.P. Narayanan, said over 1,000 global and national experts, academicians, information technology and management experts and scientists from all over the country were attending the four-day conference which is being organised by CSDMS in association with Delhi Government, National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation, USA and Survey of India.

Dr. Naryanan, while pointing to the participation of the US space agency, NASA, in the conference noted that GIS as a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating and geographically displaying referenced information is presently being used by government and private sector in fields of urban development, transport, telecom, defence, disaster management, railways, highways and power distribution.

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