The State government is all set to utilise Geographical Information System (GIS) technology in a big way in decision making and project monitoring.
The Karnataka Geographical Information System (K-GIS), to be taken up on a mission-mode, also proposes to develop applications to be used by citizens as end-users.
GIS is basically a tool that makes use of information that has a geographical or location context like satellite images, ground survey data, which in this case will be used in decision making at all levels of governance. The technology helps in visualisation. Progress reports on project implementation which usually come district-wise with rows and rows of numbers in tabular columns can actually be visualised geographically on maps.
While various departments have been using the technology, K-GIS proposes to be a common statewide platform that can be used right from the state-level to local body level. The project was mooted by the Karnataka Knowledge Commission (KKC).
At a recent meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee in which principal secretaries of various departments participated, it was decided that departments including agriculture, urban development, rural development, planning, horticulture, forests and revenue should work out data and application needs.
Karnataka State Remote Sensing Application Centre has been appointed as the nodal agency. An allocation of Rs 150 crore is earmarked for implementing it. A Task Force headed by Mukund K Rao, also KKC member secretary, has brought out a vision document on K-GIS.
“At present each department has its own GIS platform, which results in duplication of efforts and multiple investments. K-GIS will serve as a common infrastructure for all departments in decision making,” Rao told Deccan Herald.
Rao said a prototype of K-GIS has been developed and it has received positive response from various departments. While the GIS portal will have centralised data, individual applications will be developed based on the needs of different departments. For instance, an application could be developed for the revenue department for cross-reference of land records and ownership data using GIS. An application can be developed for Bhoomi services (online delivery of land records) by which all Bhoomi records can be visualised as maps.
For the rural development and panchayat raj department, a GIS application could be developed for multi-parametric analysis of village development using demographic, socio-economic, facilities and amenities data. Ranking of villages could be done using this method.
Rao said end-users could be categorised into three groups - at the governance level, citizens and also the private sector.
“In governance, GIS applications could be used by the chief minister, secretaries to departments, field officers to village functionaries. In a decision making process, 60 to 80 per cent of the data required is common and only the level at which the decision is taken differs,” Rao pointed out.
Citizens can use GIS applications for seeking government services, besides play a role in data creation. The applications can also have commercial value. Industries can access authoritative and validated GIS data that will help them in planning, land acquisition, etc., the document says.