This report in Geospatial World deals with the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in preparation of a urban development plan of Kalyani urban centre in West Bengal. The complexity of municipal governance is more pronounced in states like West Bengal, which has one of the highest population densities. Kalyani is a planned industrial town but with large unplanned settlements in form of slums. Situated on the bank of river Ganges on its natural levee, it is part of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority and is surrounded by villages.
The state of West Bengal enacted the Municipal Act 1993, which requires municipalities and municipal corporations in the state to prepare a Draft Development Plan (DDP) covering a period of five years and addressing a range of municipal functions as laid down in the act. In DDP the information-based planning brought a new concept in the urban development of West Bengal.
Creation of the municipal data bank gives updated spatial information of all the wards along with the infrastructural details (roads, pipelines, drainage, stand point, lamp post etc.). All important places and public utilities along with information on non spatial attributes like the house owner’s name house takes, rental status, family numbers, health education, infrastructural availability, structural status of the building, land use etc. were collected through various surveys of the DDP.
Terrain model for simulation of flood prone areas in Kalyani urban centre
GIS database provides invaluable inputs not only for planning of infrastructure like road, sewerage and drinking water, but also helps manage important services for various stakeholders. Although the application of GIS in urban planning is well recognised since long, but application of GIS in DDP is very limited. Development of GIS database in the context of DDP is different than creation of GIS for mere city planning or management of services/facilities.
In this report the application of GIS in integrated urban development plan for Kalyani municipality has been studied with the specific case of identifying flood prone areas and finding optimum locations for service centers. The applicability is multifarious and provides a very scientific and meaningful platform for participatory planning process. The use of GIS in the planning process in West Bengal for slum development in urban areas and in disaster management needs more thrust and emphasis.
The report can be viewed here