ORSAC to map Odisha rivers to curb illegal sand mining

The Odisha Space Application Centre (ORSAC) will take up mapping and geo-database creation of all the rivers in the State.

Published: 06th December 2016 02:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2016 06:19 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Space Application Centre (ORSAC) will take up mapping and geo-database creation of all the rivers in the State.
It has requested the Water Resources Department to provide all data concerning the project. The department, in turn, has directed all its divisions to supply the necessary information at the earliest.
The mapping and geo-database creation would help prepare strategies for multifold operations of the State Government. The ORSAC said sand mines auction, lease approval, revenue collection as well as erosion prone area detection can be facilitated through the exercise.
A joint technical committee can be formulated by the Water Resources Department for sustainable utilisation of the sand and conservation measures, it said.

The mapping would comprise all the meanders, river sand deposit areas, existing channel and sand bars. The exercise would be a massive one given the amount of information that it proposes to entail.
As part of the work, the Water Resources Department has asked the divisions to identify vulnerable meanders that erode the outer banks, widen the valley depositing the silt and threaten to erode the land use of river bank habitations affecting water flow as well as livelihood.
This apart, the divisions have also been asked to provide necessary information on sand mining areas which have been leased out by revenue, tehsil and panchayats so that the exact sand extraction status can be ascertained over a period of time.

Many rivers of the State have been facing a problem of illegal mining of sand from the beds which eventually alters the carrying capacity and leads to a wrong formulation of plan during floods. The mapping and geo-database would go a long way in tackling that problem, said a senior officer of Water Resources Department.
The remote sensing centre would prepare the geo-database in 1:10,000 scale that can be data enabled which means different stake-holders can make use of the high-resolution data. The ORSAC plans to use the Worldview-II satellite data of 2014-16 period for the mapping, which is a first of its kind exercise.

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