Friday, 15 May 2009

Exclusive atlas for tribal areas in India

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The city-based National Institute of Rural Development has developed a GIS-based atlas of all the tribal areas in the country which closely monitor the living standards of tribal populations besides checking encroachments in forest lands.
The tribal atlas, the first of its kind in the country, covers the Schedule V areas spread across Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh. The tribal map is based on satellite imagery which will be constantly updated for real time status of the tribal and forest lands.
Vast tracks of forest and tribal lands have been under encroachment in the all important Schedule V areas of the country. Moreover, there is no updated data on the status and living standards of many tribal communities despite the Central and the State governments taking up several welfare measures.
Since the tribal atlas is based on satellite imageries, it can be updated anytime for a first hand information on the condition of tribal lands and the people living there.
"This will help the Integrated Tribal Development Agency and the Integrated Tribal Development Project to have a better understanding of the needs of the tribals living in forest areas. This will also give boost the present administrative set-up catering to the development of tribal areas," says a report of the NIRD.
Experts at NIRD have utilised socio-economic and demographic data along with the natural resources information and infrastructure data for generation of the tribal atlas. The GIS map covers areas ranging from regional to micro levels which will serve as a proven effective administrative and management tool for decision making for developing the tribal areas and their people.
The atlas is based on the demographic profile of Scheduled-V areas and has a spatial spread. It will have wide use among organisations working for tribal development.

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