GIS News from around the country

Telecom News:

            The National Informatics Centre (NIC) will carry out the GIS mapping of the existing Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) network of the telecom operators such BSNL, Rail Tel, Power Grid, etc. The mapping of the existing OFC will enable to calculate the incremental length of the cable required for connecting all the 2.5 lakh panchayats with OFC. The cost of initial phase of the NOFN scheme is likely to be in the region of Rs 20,000 crore.

            The government of India has approved the creation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) for providing broadband connectivity of all panchayats. The plan is to extend the existing optical fibre network initially upto panchayats by utilizing the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) and creating an institutional mechanism for management and operation of the NOFN for ensuring non discriminatory access to all service providers.

Common Service Centers (CSCs):

            Information kiosks set up in the rural areas of Ranchi, Jharkhand, also known as common service centres (CSCs), will soon be equipped with geographical information system (GIS). This new project intends to facilitate quicker delivery of electronic services to the beneficiaries.

            The project is planned to be implemented by mid of the next year. The State IT Department has already begun negotiating terms and condition with the State-owned telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to provide high-speed broadband link to all the CSCs, some of them still under construction.

             A major issue that stares this project in its face is that many CSCs are not functioning properly. Only 2000 out of the installed 4562 CSCs are actually in working condition.

GIS Mapping for Property Documentation:

            The state urban development department of the Bihar government is now carrying out geographic information system (GIS) mapping in towns and cities of Bihar.  The move will enable urban local bodies to document the properties in a digitized data bank, leading of course to greater tax collection for the civic bodies. But the benefits to the citizens from this should also be obvious in the context of legal disputes. The main question here however is how the civic bodies are to be enabled to provide civic amenities through funds generated by themselves. So far, the towns covered by the move in the state include Gaya, Sasaram, Aurangabad, Dehri, Chhapra and Siwan.
            The GIS-based maps would allow the government to get a complete picture of the total number of holdings and property value across the towns, essential for urban planning. The GIS-based maps that are to be prepared will be on a 1:1000 scale, using QuickBird satellite imagery.

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