GURGAON: The state government is planning to launch a separate company to maintain and manage its geo-spatial data. For this, a centralized databank will be created that will source information from 19-odd government departments. The policies of this company, as well as its formation, are being deliberated upon by the department of town and country planning (DTCP), which aims to centralize geo-spatial data and enable other government agencies impart smoother citizen services.
The need for creation of 'Haryana Urban Geo-Spatial Applications Limited' (HUGSA), for preparedness in urban e-governance and development of smart cities, was discussed in a meeting on March 2, called by the additional chief secretary to DTCP, P Raghavendra Rao, with 16 senior officials from departments including urban local bodies, DTCP, HUDA, HSIIDC, transport and MCG. According to Rao, the proposal to create a specialized agency (HUGSA) is aimed at integrating data from different departments, and to develop a technology-based platform for data-sharing and coordination among various arms of the government.
"Often, one department seeks information and verification of records from another. If the data is made available on one platform for all departments to access easily, it improves bureaucratic efficiency. If customized applications are made using this databank to cater to services offered by bodies like HUDA, HSIIDC and municipal corporations, it will improve response time and efficiency of all departments, as well as of citizen services," explained Rao.
He further said the purpose of this company is to integrate geo-spatial data (from creation to updating, management, dissemination and sharing of the data), master plans, a land-use portal, land-ownership records, data from public utility networks (including roads, water, sewerage, electricity, telecommunications) maintained and managed by various departments, local bodies, HUDA, HSIIDC, housing boards, among others.
He added that the 'draft concept note', issued by the Union ministry of urban development on smart cities, lays great emphasis on building a GIS (geographic information system) database for selected cities/towns as well as urban e-governance.
"Three cities from Haryana - Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonepat - are likely to figure in the smart city scheme list. One of the prerequisites of a 'smart city' would be to have an integrated and reliable database, which in case of Haryana could benefit HUDA, licensed colonies, the public health department, municipalities, PWD (Buildings and Roads), Delhi Metro, for future infrastructure expansion or development," he said.
He further added that a bill to provide for the creation, updating and maintenance of such a body, titled 'Haryana Urban Geo-Spatial Applications Bill, 2015', has been drafted.
However, it was decided during the meeting that before any such bill is enacted, a team of officers will be deputed to visit Delhi and Bangalore to examine similar initiatives. "The focus will be to analyze success factor, shortcomings and do's and don'ts of such an initiative. Haryana space applications centre is already executing a similar pilot project for Sohna, which will be completed by June 2015," Rao said.