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A facelift to Mumbai: Courtesy GIS

Dr. V. N. Patkar
Operations Research Specialist

D. Sampath Kumar

Satellite imageries have been used to revise the sanctioned regional plan for Mumbai. A prototype GIS based monitoring system for Greater Mumbai Development plan: 1981-2001 has been developed by MMRDA

Land-use Planning for orderly development at three levels is stipulated in the State of Maharashtra under its Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act, 1966. Accordingly, a region, city or town and locality are the three units for which a Regional Plan, Development Plan and Town Planning scheme are prepared respectively. Scale and details prescribed for the formulation of the above three plans differ a great deal, however, basic steps like preparation of the existing land-use map, estimation of land requirement for projected population and socio-economic activities and involving public participation in the process are common. Applications of information technology, particularly, Remote Sensing (RS) for capturing the spatial data and Geographic Information System (GIS) for undertaking integrated analysis and presentation of spatial and associated attribute data are found to be of immense use in such planning tasks.

Select applications of RS and GIS with reference to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Planning are presented here to illustrate the potential of these technologies.

Regional Planning
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) covers an area of about 4355 sq.km. The population of MMR is 14.5 million as per 1991 census and is projected to increase to 22.4 million by the year 2011. The Regional Plan for MMR (1971-1991) was sanctioned in 1973. It is the statutory responsibility of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to revise the sanctioned regional plan for MMR. For this purpose satellite imageries from Landsat, SPOT and IRS-IA and PC based GIS software namely, ARC/INFO have been extensively used as described below.

In collaboration with the Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahemedabad, the Landsat and SPOT satellite imageries were interpreted and on that basis the existing land-use map at 1:50,000 scale showing the level-II classification of land-use such as built-up, industry, dense forest, sparse forest, scrub land, agriculture land, fallow land, plantation, marshy land with and without vegetation, salt pans, water body, etc. and Urban Sprawl map at 1:1,00,000 scale were prepared. The spatial data on soil type, soil texture, slope, physiography, flooding hazard zones, coastal proximity, altitude, land-use, industrial area distribution and environmental data on air pollution pertaining to SO2, SPM and NOX levels and non-spatial data were organised under the GIS at 1:2,50,000 scale.

The lowest level at which the spatial data are organised under the GIS are census sections in Greater Mumbai and villages in the rest of the region. The spatial data were digitised at 1:50,000 scale using the SOI topo-sheets. Village boundaries from the village maps at 1:4,000, 1:8,000, 1:5,000 and 1:10,000 scale obtained from the office of the Land Records and census section boundaries of Greater Mumbai at 1:50,000 scale were correlated to SOI topo-sheets to ensure the locational accuracy relative to the fixed features such as waterbody, road network, etc. The non-spatial data from census and other sources for the years 1971, 1981, and 1991 were linked to the spatial data. The thematic maps and statistics on decadal population growth, population distribution, employment, distribution of socio-economic facilities, agriculture and forest land-uses and traffic zonewise existing land-use distribution were generated to study both the spatial and temporal trends of development in each settlement in MMR.

Land suitability analyses, first with physical parameters alone and next with additional environmental parameters, were carried out with the help GIS utilities like overlaying, buffering and clipping. Using the existing and proposed major road network, accessibility analysis for the proposed second international airport at Mandva from different locations in the region was studied by employing network analysis facility of the GIS.

Results of all these studies served as an important input to the preparation of the Draft Regional Plan for MMR: 1996-2011 as depicted in Figure 1. In addition, the proposed land-use plan for MMR was transferred on the village maps at 1:10,000 scale to facilitate the citizens and other concerned groups to understand the implications of the proposed land-use plan and file the objections and suggestions and also the Planning Committee to evaluate those representations. The GIS has greatly helped at all stages of the regional plan preparation.

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