Building Geospatial Infrastructure in Northeast India

The fast growing and resilient Indian economy, with increasing urbanization and population, is necessitating the need for robust physical infrastructure to sustain the growth and unravel India’s growth potential. Recognizing this, the government has put a firm priority on boosting this sector with significant investments in different projects related to roads and highways. Apart from the East-West Corridor, Bharatmala Project, etc. by the GoI, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region has taken up projects for filling gaps in infrastructure through its schemes such as NLCPR-State, NERSDS, Schemes of North Eastern Council (NEC) and NESIDS. The Border Roads Organization (BRO) and other Indian defense agencies are playing a crucial role in both maintenance of security and in the development of border areas. Most of the development in the NER can be attributed to the relentless work done by the BRO.

Geospatial technologies including 3D laser scanning, Building Information Modelling (BIM), mobile mapping, CORS and UAVs can potentially play a stellar role in ensuring the growth of this sector. The Building Geospatial Infrastructure session will explore the entire roads and highway system in an integrated manner and focus not only on the geospatial and other technologies that go into making these systems intelligent but also ensure that they are safe, secure and environmentally sustainable for the North East Region of India.

Geospatial Technologies: Modern Warfare Tools for Defense and Homeland Security

With technology ever evolving and the barriers to space access diminishing, the opportunities available in the GeoInt world will continue to increase. Geospatial Intelligence or GeoInt is a critical foundation for many aspects of defense and internal security, as it involves amalgamation of all types of intelligence like location, imagery, communications, signal and human intelligence, while helping strategize and support various field operations. The use of Big Data, advanced geospatial analytics software, open source data intelligence and sophisticated imaging technologies from high-resolution remote sensing satellites, UAVs and other sensors, enables seamless flow of information in pre-, real-time and post-combat operations, especially in vulnerable areas such as a country’s border to solve insurgency. Along with the new access to space, advancements in machine learning and automation are allowing systems to process more imagery and data at faster rates and with more accuracy. It is these capabilities that make GeoInt an effective and indispensable tool for enhancing combat potential and homeland security.
The session will feature senior level discussions from the defense and security officials, government, and industry. It will showcase the latest technology solutions from the industry and how they can aid in building and updating the security ecosystem especially in NER. The personnel from NER will also get to know success case studies (such as Dial 100, Public Safety Response System for Women) from other Indian states and utilize their expertise.

Geo-enabled Smart Cities: A Holistic Approach

With the ever growing population, the cities need to be sustainable and resilient. Urban areas are expected to house 40% of India’s population and contribute 75% of India’s GDP by 2030. To make sure that tomorrow’s cities provide opportunities for all, it is essential to understand that the concept of inclusive cities involves multiple spatial, social and economic factors. Smart Cities Mission launched by Government of India includes nine cities from NE Region is a huge step towards building such cities. A total of `98,000 crore (US$14 billion) has been approved by the GoI for the development of 100 smart cities and the rejuvenation of 500 others. `48,000 crore (US$6.9 billion) for the Smart Cities mission and a total funding of `50,000 crore (US$7.2 billion) for the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT ) have been approved by the government.

Geospatial technologies have a key role to play when it comes to enabling smart cities. They are applied across the smart city subsystems such as energy, water, transportation, public safety, citizen services, city governance, healthcare, education, etc. They also enable collaboration during the planning, construction, monitoring and management of the city infrastructure.

This session will feature experts from urban/city planning, engineers/consultants, mobility and transportation experts, technology providers and research/academic institutes, discussing geospatial technology as the backbone in empowering smart city management.

Land Use and Land Pattern for North Eastern Region

Land use/land cover resources are the bases for various developmental activities. Information on land use/ land cover in the form of map, spatial and statistical data is very useful for spatial planning, land records, management and utilization of land for agriculture, pasture, urban, environmental studies, forestry and economic production, etc. The use of geospatial technologies such GIS and Remote Sensing plays a crucial role in efficient land use/pattern mapping. Geospatial technologies form the bases of the Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (DILRMP), which seeks to improve the quality of land records in the country. The NE Region comprising eight states covers 25.509 M ha, which is about 8% of country’s geographical area. However, a considerable degree of land transformations is being witnessed as a result of growing population pressure and manmade activities on the finite land resources leading to deterioration of the environment, degradation and wastelands. The productivity of land in NER as compared to its potential is low. Wetland management issues are surrounded by confusion and lack of proper wetland policy. Sustainable agricultural development and food security is one of the key challenges.
This panel will dwell on the value of geospatial technologies in providing necessary support system to manage these resources and address the challenges for the benefit of the people through discussions with key user organizations, policy makers and industry experts.

Geospatial for Efficient Forest Management

More than 64% of the total geographical area of the NER is covered by thick and mixed deciduous and semi ever green forest. Forests of this part of India are unique structurally and in species composition. It is a meeting region of temperate east Himalayan flora, palaeo-arctic flora of Tibetan highland and wet evergreen flora of south- east Asia and Yunnan forming bowl of biodiversity. Sadly, it is one of the major regions facing severe deforestation. Increasing population and economic growth are creating a large demand on forests in respect of industrial raw material, and diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes like agriculture, river valley projects and mining. A critical need of the hour is effective management of forests and forest resources to ensure the health of the environment, to preserve biodiversity, protect the forest economy and meet the resource needs of the region in a sustainable way.

Fast, reliable and accurate information regarding the status of forests is the key to efficient forest resource management. Owing to the vast spatial dimensions of the forest areas, geospatial technologies offers tremendous potential in forest resources assessment, monitoring and management, proving to be a solution that is cost effective, time saving and importantly, effective. Geospatial technologies have a significant role to play in improving the capabilities of decision makers in planning and monitoring of forests.

Application of Geospatial Technology in Disaster Management

Hazards and disasters are extreme events that occur incidentally or accidentally on the Earth’s surface induced by climatic, hydrologic, geologic and geomorphic processes affecting the overall environment. Cyclones, floods, landslides, avalanches, volcanic activities, earthquakes, tsunamis, desertification, droughts are the major hazards which takes place mainly when the nature tries to balance abruptly some irregularities formed on it. Along with all other parts of the country the geo-dynamically active NER of India is also affected by some of the disasters. The study of hazard and disaster is of great relevance to the society since the resultant disaster event poses serious toll on lives and properties of human society.

Geospatial technologies can provide accurate, current location based data for use in disaster management. Indeed, the use of geospatial technologies in disaster management is a natural fit because location is a key element of disaster management. Effective disaster risk reduction and management can be achieved through the deployment of geospatial technologies for all the phases of disaster management, including prevention, mitigation, preparedness, vulnerability reduction, response and relief.

The session will provide a forum to present ongoing research and ideas related to earth observations and global change, natural hazards and disaster management studies with respect to geospatial information technology, remote sensing, and global navigation satellite systems.

Geo-enabled Water and Sanitation Management

Water connects every aspect of life. Bringing clean water and sanitation facilities to an ever-growing population is a massive challenge. Lack of adequate sanitation not only adversely affects the quality of water and environment, but also has economic consequences and harmful effects on physical well-being of the citizens. The government is taking a number of initiatives towards effectively harnessing water resources. Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission implemented by NRSC, ISRO shows potential areas of occurrence of groundwater which helps in narrowing down the target zone for selection/identification of sites for development of dug/tube/bore wells. Key aspects of sustainability such as geo-tagging, verification of Open Defecation Free (ODF) villages, conversion of dysfunctional toilets, Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), and rural water supply are in process.

In order to optimally utilize sparse water resources, accurate information along with tools to properly analyze such information for planning purposes are required. It is here that geospatial technologies, such as remote sensing, Lidar, UAVS can play a crucial role. GIS based planning helps in management of huge data and maps. It has proved to be a valuable tool in the management of sanitation of urban and rural areas. Understanding the importance of clean water and sanitation to the community, this session aims to identify the power of the emerging technologies towards providing equitable access to water and clean sanitation for all.