Google Earth or BISAG maps? High Court to decide
In early 2010, the state Tribal Development Department (TDD) had authorised the use of satellite imagery as second evidence in determining claims under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006, entrusting the task of acquiring imagery and preparing maps to state-owned Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar.
BISAG soon started providing maps even as the TDD commissioner issued three circulars to hasten the process, “urging BISAG to prepare at least 60 maps every day”, according to the petition.
“The task of marking these Common Plots was to be carried out by the human operators sitting in BISAG office, with no field verification and as such highly error-prone,” three tribal rights groups — Action Research in Community Health & Development, Rajpipla Social Service Society and Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti — said in a petition against the rejection of 1.13 lakh FRA claims (out of 1.56 lakh), although a review has been ordered.
The petition adds the maps were in A4 sizes (later in A3), none had latitude/longitude grids and “many of these maps had gross mistakes in marking village boundaries, forest survey numbers and common plots”.
The groups said they met a top official and showed him the maps, juxtaposing them with satellite imagery from Google Earth, after which the official instructed BISAG to correct these
Be the first to comment.