e-Governance

Delhi Geographical Spatial Data Infrastructure Act 2011 to Come by November 15

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All departments and civic agencies in Delhi would be expected to share information on the status of the projects and also update the capital's spatial database on a monthly basis – under the soon to come – Delhi Geographical Spatial Data Infrastructure Act 2011.

The government is preparing to implement the act from November 15.

The database, an interconnected 3D global information system, captures the demographics of the capital and utilities like storm water drains, sewer lines, roads, infrastructure and urban planning projects through secured communication networks.

Geospatial Delhi Limited, with the chief secretary of Delhi as its chairman, will be in charge of maintaining and updating the database. Constituted about two years ago, the company has now sought applications from experts trained in handling the specialized database. It proposes to hire 30 to 40 geo-spatial advisers on contract for one year. Each adviser will be paid Rs 70,000 per month.

According to senior officials of the Delhi government, the specialized staff will be required to manage and ensure that the database is updated regularly. The information technology secretary, Rajendra Kumar, said that once the Delhi Geographical Spatial Data Infrastructure (Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety) Act, 2011, was implemented, all departments would be expected to share information on the status of the projects and also update the database on a monthly basis.

Each department and civic agency will have a dedicated section where the database can be accessed and updated. “For instance, if the PWD is making a road, the status of the project must appear on the database and on a monthly basis, the status will have to be updated. This will not only help track a project and prevent delays but also help other agencies planning utilities to coordinate their processes,” Kumar said.

The database, covering 1,500 square kilometers, provides ground-based actual information system that details infrastructure and utilities above ground, on the ground and below the ground up to 12 feet with maps. It involves capturing geographical and urban features for systematic and coordinated urban planning, project implementation and overall governance.

In a presentation made before urban development minister Kamal Nath in May, the IT department had reflected on the peculiar problems of governance in the capital. It was pointed out that too many agencies and departments make coordination and decision-making cumbersome.

The e-governance effort that will link the departments to the database is being seen as an effective way to bridge the gap and cut down red tape. The departments will have direct access to the live data on secured communication networks. The platform will allow users to not only update the database but also make their project plans sitting before their computer itself. It will also allow direct monitoring through the control room at the Delhi secretariat in case of a natural or manmade disaster.

For instance, the database shows that there are about 48 lakh buildings in Delhi. Using this data, MCD can track properties that are evading tax and issue notices. Similarly, in case of unauthorized construction, the department will be able to see the building status through the high-resolution maps and check the status of a property on the platform. Verification on the ground will then reveal if any unauthorized construction has been done.

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