The key factors for sustainable development at any region are: systematic approach to problem solving, identifying the potentials and implementation of processes in scientific manner. Keeping these things in mind, Governments at central and state level have decided to accord priority to the planned development during the Tenth Five year plan period. The success of efforts in this direction is, no doubt, predicated on a number and variety of factors. However, development of appropriate statutes, through civic governance/administration, development plans/schemes, effective instruments of implementation and mechanisms for review and monitoring etc. would play a significant role, in heralding in a planned manner.
Thus, the vision documents prepared elsewhere in the country speak of growth engines that form part of the sustainable development of the regions. In respect of Meghalaya, we need to identify these growth engines and make use the technological tools like Geospatial Technology to achieve these goals for sustained economic development of entire state.
Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS), an integral part of information technology, play a vital role in mapping, monitoring the growth trends and management of the natural resources, utilities and man-made infrastructures. Remote Sensing and GIS is proving as a very effective spatial technology for understanding earth features, planning for resource optimization, effective decision making, cost savings, improve communication and better record keeping and a host of related work which has great application potential in natural resource management, transport. telecommunication, health, urban planning, EIA, Disaster Management, Taxation and various applied fields.
By realizing the potentials of these techniques, various Government agencies like Irrigation department, Agriculture Department, Urban Development Authorities and Town Planning Departments etc. in the country are utilizing these in managing the resources.
Geospatial technology has been introduced in the Department of Information Technology & Communication, Meghalaya since 2005 by establishment of a GIS laboratory. The intention behind the setting up of a State GIS laboratory was to make an inventory of the natural resources within the state and identify the need for user departments and thereby, making maximum utilization of these modern technology for effective planning and management.
The State GIS laboratory was established keeping in view few of the following task:
- Establishment of required hardware, software and operationalisation and implementation of Geomatics in the state of Meghalaya.
- Preparation of Natural Resources Atlas for entire state of Meghalaya
- Preparation of Digital Elevation Model of Meghalaya
- Master plan for Urban Development in the state of Meghalaya
- Capacity building in the use of remote sensing and GIS techniques among the officers of the Line Departments.