By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 9 Jan: Uttarakhand is being benefitted significantly due to some credit worthy achievements in the field of space technology by Uttarakhand Centre for Space Utilisation (USAC), Dehradun. USAC has been providing valuable services to the state through Indian satellites installed in space and with the help of its experts, which have become a third eye of Uttarakhand. Its direct benefit is finally reaching the common people of Uttarakhand. The latest example is the Corona epidemic. USAC developed the Geospatial App during the epidemic which greatly helped the Dehradun district administration in determining the containment zones.
Since Uttarakhand is a disaster affected area, USAC has played an important role in disaster prevention and management before and during the disaster. A vivid example of this can be seen in the reconstruction of Kedarnath Dham. While USAC provided important ecological and geological data governance in relation to the Kedar Valley, it also coordinated with various scientific organisations for the same purpose. Not only this, the Director of UAC, Geologist Dr Mahendra Pratap Singh Bisht has been named as an expert for the reconstruction of Kedar valley by the government. Apart from this, important inputs have been given through PWD by surveying the disaster prone areas of Kedarnath Yatra route. While mapping the vegetation and biodiversity of the ancient walking route of Kedarnath Yatra has been done, preliminary survey report of the proposed new itinerary has also been prepared by USAC through effective use of space technology and the satellites.
The expertise of USAC is also being discovered in untouched spiritual places of the state and the research related to them. In this context, 10 limestone caves at Gangolihat in Pithoragarh district is a good example of the services provided by USAC. It would be pertinent to point out that discovery of such places is bound to increase new religious tourism opportunities in the state. USAC also has notable achievements for accurate and simple mapping using modern technology.
USAC has also prepared a two-day scale map of the basic facilities and properties of all 13 districts of Uttarakhand and this Survey of India has also been appreciated by the Survey of India. An important geo-database of the entire Kumbh region Haridwar is being prepared, helping the administration in the arrangements of Kumbh Mela 2021. Apart from this, with the help of satellite data and data from ground survey, base map of Kumbh region has been handed over to the Mela administration. This will help the administration in systematically organising the world’s largest religious event.
Speaking to Garhwal Post, Director USAC, Dr Mahendra Pratap Bisht informed that the survey of development works of the state had also been made very simple and accurate by USAC. USAC was playing an important role in the development of the state by helping the government in development and construction of roads by providing GIS based road map of eight districts to the government. At the same time, a map of the new and proposed All Weather Road from Poanta Sahib to Barkot and Kotdwar to Srinagar had also been prepared. The survey report had been completed after assessing the damage done to the houses of villages in the Rishikesh-Yamunotri All Weather Road near the tunnel near Chamba.
In the last three years, USAC had surveyed the snow-capped areas of several major river valley areas of Kumaon and Garhwal in the field of water resources management which was a dream project of Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat. The technical reports of 10 lakes proposed in Nayar, Thal, Ramganga, etc., of Pauri district and Garsain in Chamoli had been completed by the USAC and submitted to the Irrigation Department. Apart from this, maps related to the state’s wetlands and water quality had also been prepared and submitted to the irrigation department.
USAC is helping the state in the agriculture sector too. The plains area of Uttarakhand is a bowl of cereal and the hills are a fruit basket. It is also an important source of the economy of the state, so it has an important role in its management and survey, and here too, UAC has been providing its effective presence. USAC was continuously providing scientific information related to sugarcane growing and wheat growing areas of the state through the Department of Agriculture, Dr Bist informed. GIS mapping of nutrients available in the soil of agricultural land of Haridwar and some villages of Udham Singh Nagar had been made available to the Agriculture Department.
USAC had also played an important role in the survey and conservation of forest wealth by providing necessary scientific information for the management and conservation of forest land of the state. In addition, soil erosion, study and treatment is also employed in meadows and pastures (called as Bugyals locally). The forests of Uttarakhand are severely damaged every year by forest fires. A detailed report had been prepared in this regard for the affected area of the state. This would help in making plans for effective control of forest fire. Not only this, the services of USAC were also being used effectively in the field of biodiversity conservation. Dr Bisht said that the availability of endangered and rare flora found in the state was also being explored. In the field of education, USAC’s expertise was also being used. USAC was hosting the Mapping Information Portal of the Education Department of Uttarakhand.