Spatial map policies
Problems and solutions
We have come across many policies and programs for the last many years with thousands of crores being spent with unsatisfactory outcome. We hardly see any concrete results. Look at the policies and programs mentioned below:
Computerisation of Land Records, Digitisation of Land Records and Other Maps, Resurvey of Land Holdings (Cadastral Survey), National Map Policy-2005, National Resources Data Management System (NRDMS), National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), 1:10,000 Scale Mapping Under Ppp, Survey Of India Revamping or Restructuring, National Geospatial Policy (NGP), National GIS (NGIS), National Data Registry (NDR), National Data Platform (NDP), National Product Development Mission (NPM), National Remote Sensing Policy -2011, National Data Sharing And Accessibility Policy-2012 (NDSAP), Bhuvan, Indian Regionalsatellite Navigation System (Irnss), GPS Aided Geo Augmentation System (Gagan), National Centre of Geoinformatics, etc.
We can discuss and say that a lot has been done and will continue to be done. We, however, see that maps and data are not available. Umpteen number of conferences and meetings have taken place and will continue. Any concrete solution has been suggested? What are the reasons for failure?
We have to go to the root of the problem and suggest solutions :
1. Survey of India is not capable of mapping and providing updated maps of the whole country even on 1: 50,000 scale. Talk of 1:10,000 scale mapping is going on for many years?
2. Similar is the case with Cadastral survey in states. Records are in poor condition are even not available. Most require resurvey. Many programs initiated and experiments done with poor results. Courts are full of litigations.
3. First and foremost is that we have to concede that Survey of India or one single agency that can not do the job for the country. India has so many states with governments in place in a federal structure. Many states are larger than Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or Nepal.. So why cant we take lessons from our neighbours and give responsibility of all types of survey and mapping to states in their area of jurisdiction including topographical survey from 1:10,000 to 1:50,000 scale, Cadastral survey, irrigation survey , road survey, forest survey etc. All states should have survey departments as large as in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malawi or any other developed /developing country.
4. Responsibility of Survey of India may be:
a. Survey and mapping of external borders of India.
b. Zero order Geodetic control points all over India, 50 km apart in WGS84/Indian Geodetic System.
c. Coordination and cooperation with states.
d. Help in establishing Survey Training Institutes in all states similar to IISM of Survey of India in all states.
5. Responsibility of states may be:
a. Geodetic control points with permanent monuments, 1st order 20 km apart, 2nd order 10 km apart, 3rd order 5 km apart and 4th order 2 km apart.
b. Survey and mapping including 1:10,000 to 1:50,000 scale topographical mapping, 1:2000 to 1:5000 scale Cadastral mapping and for all development in the state. All land holding corners to be coordinated by adopting a rectangular grid for the state.