675 towns under 1-lakh population to get GIS-based master plans
India’s City-System (ASICS) 2023 by Bengaluru-based think tank Janaagraha found that 39% of capital cities lack an active master plan leading to the poor and unsustainable growth
NEW DELHI: The Union government has approved ₹631 crore funding to states to prepare GIS Geographical Information System (GIS)-based master plans for 675 towns with a population of 50,000-99,999 people, minister of state in the ministry of housing and urban affairs Kaushal Kishore told the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Kishore was replying to a question by Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu, Mohamed Abdulla, on government initiatives to improve urban planning capacity in Indian towns and cities. These master plans will be funded under the Centre’s AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme.
Master plans are long-term vision documents usually prepared by cities every 20 years for potential land and infrastructure development to cater to future demands of growth. Master plans are prepared by taking stock of the existing commercial, residential, environmental, and infrastructural aspects of the city using images, statistics, maps, and other information.
The use of GIS is expected to help cities plan systematically and control haphazard growth.
According to a Niti Aayog report in 2021, 65% of Indian cities don’t have a master plan and grow in an ad hoc manner. Also, India’s City-System (ASICS) 2023 by Janaagraha, a Bengaluru-based think tank, found that 39% of capital cities in India lack an active master plan leading to the poor and unsustainable growth of Indian cities.
Raj Bhagat, senior programme manager of Geo Analytics for Sustainable Cities & Transport program at World Resources Institute India, said that GIS allows planners to create, store, analyse, visualize, and model data with geographical components.
“All the issues and the plans that we have for our cities try to answer the question of where do we design new roads? Where do we add more residential zones? Which places are vulnerable to floods? .. can be addressed using GIS-based systems.”
“Considering the complexity and the sizes of our cities, it is humanly impossible to prepare a master plan without proper information structures for them. GIS-based master plans bring the structures needed to easily plan, visualize, and disseminate information.”
In a written response, Kishore said the final GIS database has been created for 443 towns, draft GIS-based Master Plans prepared for 330 towns and final GIS-based Master Plans have been notified for 180 towns.
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