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Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district uses GPS to monitor rural welfare schemes

Kangra, Sun, 25 Mar 2012 ANI

Kangra, Mar 25 (ANI): Kangra District in Himachal Pradesh has become the first village in the region to us Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to monitor development work done under central rural welfare schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

A researcher for the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Kunal Sood, said that volunteers were being trained to use GPS systems to map development work.

"In this project, we have tried to cover the MNREGA schemes, and in this, the asset map is very important. So what we have done is, we are training the 'gram rozgar sevaks' with the help of GPS. So, they are handling GPS devices and they are collecting the assets, e.g., jeepable roads, kuls (water channels), danga (drain) or plantations, whatever has been developed under the MNREGA schemes," said Sood.

The use of technology aims to make it convenient for villagers to access data and locate rivulets, roads and schools in the region.

Sood said the challenge of the project was to make the villagers comfortable with the GPS and remotes sensing technology.

"The people were not accustomed to this kind of technology. They were not aware of GIS (Global Information System) and remote sensing. We tried to give them a brief training on this. We gave them some overview, prepared some dummy maps for them. Then they understood. So, we also tried to understand the PRI (Panchayati Raj Institution) exercises. Then we did a methodology and tried to portray some asset maps and presented it in the gram sabha. Then they got the access and now we can say it is a successful project," he added. (ANI)


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