‘Bhuvan geo portal to keep watch on irrigation projects’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Feb 2018 09:27:29


By Rajendra Diwe,

With every inch land under the sharp surveillance of remote sensing satellites, it will be next to impossible for fraudsters and corrupt officers to siphon public money by tweaking details about developmental works like irrigation projects. Data about all major projects is available on Bhuvan, a Geoportal of ISRO and constantly monitored to rule out any graft, misfeasance and this will have boost nation’s progress, informed Dr YVN Krishnamurthy, Director of National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Talking to The Hitavada at Hotel Radisson Blu on Friday, Dr Krishna Murthy elaborated, “Common people could access Bhuvan geo portal and see the status of irrigation projects in their areas. The complete data regarding dam, reservoir, canals, branch canals, minors etc. their present status is available on the portal. Just by a simple click, one can monitor the entire project.”

Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program (AIBP) was launched by Government of India during 1996-97 to provide financial assistance to State Governments with the aim of speeding up the implementation of on-going irrigation projects. Monitoring of the projects covered under the AIBP is periodically done by the Central Water Commission with the help of its regional offices situated all over the country. The conventional monitoring is done through discussions with field authorities and random field checks which often is inadequate in bringing out the factual status.

Dr Krishnamurthy explained, “With the advancement of technology, high resolution satellite data from Cartosat-I and Cartosat-II has been successfully used for inventory of canal network and other irrigation infrastructure, facilitating objective assessment of physical status with reference to a given time frame (as on the date of satellite data acquisition). The satellite inventoried data with respect to
canals and structures can be used not only to prepare canal wise per cent progress but also to identify gaps, if any, indicating the status of infrastructure. This will also facilitate in identifying the critical gaps and bottlenecks in the projects.”

NRSC, ISRO has successfully demonstrated the assessment of irrigation potential created through inventory of irrigation infrastructure derived from
satellite data. Initially, 103 projects (Phase I-53 and Phase II-50) were carried out by NRSC/ISRO. Based on the utility of such studies, Central Water Commission (CWC) has decided to use the satellite data and web services through ISRO-Bhuvan for on-line monitoring of 150 ongoing projects biannually (pre monsoon & post-monsoon) from the year 2013. “All the Ministries involved in managing natural resources in the country at national to local level have become part of Bhuvan, because the applications are done jointly with them. Bhuvan is useful in monitoring, analysing, interpreting, data, maps, images of projects related to natural resources like Agriculture, Wasteland, Ground Water Prospects, Watershed, Soil, Land Use Land Cover etc,” he added.

‘Nagpur of yesteryears was a charming place’

Dr Krishnamurthy was the head of regional remote sensing service centre at Nagpur in 80’s. Going down the memory land, he nostalgically remembered Nagpur of yesteryears and described it as a charming place. Dr Krishnamurthy said, “In those days, the city had more trees, more greenery, less traffic, less number of vehicles; now the city has lost in concrete jungle. Like Nagpur many cities have lost their associations with nature. If we are unable to protect or conserve the nature, then a day is not too far when we will loose everything. It is needed to make people aware to conserve the natural resources and use them judiciously.”