India plans to prepare digital maps of all its 6,00,000 villages and pan-India 3D maps will be prepared for 100 cities, Union Minister of State for Scienc and Technology Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday at an event to mark a year of the updated geospatial policy guidelines.
An ongoing scheme, piloted by the Panchayati Raj Ministry, called SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2020.
The updated guidelines help private companies prepare a variety of maps without needing approvals from a host of Ministries and make it easier to use drones and develop applications via location mapping. The “trinity of geospatial systems, drone policy and unlocked space sector will be the hallmark of India’s future economic progress”, Dr. Singh said in a statement. The complete geospatial policy would be announced soon as the liberalisation of guidelines had yielded very positive outcomes within a year’s time, he said. The geographical information based system mapping would also be useful in forest management, disaster management, electrical utilities, land records, water distribution, and property taxation.
Dr. Singh estimated the size of the Indian geospatial market in 2020 to be Rs. 23,345 crore, including Rs. 10,595 crore of export which was likely to grow to Rs. 36,300 crore by 2025.
When the scheme was launched, Mr. Modi had said that it would help establish “clear ownership” of property in rural areas by mapping of land parcels using drone technology and providing a “record of rights” to eligible households by issuing legal ownership cards to them.
So far, drone surveys have covered close to 1,00,000 villages and maps of 77,527 villages had been handed over to States. Property cards have been distributed to around 27,000 villages, according to current information on the SVAMITVA portal.