Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) will assist development projects in the Northeast through Space Technology and will contribute by offering optimum utilization of Satellite Imaging and other Space Technology applications for better accomplishment of infrastructural projects in all the eight States of the North Eastern Region.
Chairing a high level meeting with senior officers of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and ISRO scientists, the Minister said that six out of the eight States of Northeast have already sent their specific proposals for execution by ISRO, while the remaining two States of Sikkim and Assam will send their proposals soon.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that ISRO is already monitoring and Geo-tagging 67 projects at 221 sites in all the 8 States funded by MDoNER/NEC. He said, this is first of its kind in the whole country, where there is an institutionalised involvement of ISRO in mapping and sharing of data for developmental projects and can become a model for other States too.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that one of the major highlights of the Modi government has been that in the last seven years, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is no longer confined mainly to the launching of satellites, but it has been constantly enlarging its role in development activities, thus contributing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission of “Transforming India”.
North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) at Shillong has received a number of proposals from North Eastern states. It would be discussing the feasibility and desirability of all such projects, one by one with each of the States in the next fortnight. Once identified, all such projects are likely to be funded jointly by respective States and NESAC.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah visited Shillong and held a meeting with the North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) society in January this year, where major projects to be taken up had been flagged. Some of the important projects on which work is under progress are like the mapping of forest gap areas, expansion of land area for horticulture development, Identification and rejuvenation of wetlands and diversion of floodwater, assessment of Bamboo resources for livelihood needs. The Minister said that the Home Minister is likely to visit the centre again in July to review the progress of the projects. He said that despite the crippling effects of the COVID, much headway was made in execution of these projects.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that in North Eastern Region, space technology is now being used in diverse sectors including agriculture, railways, roads and bridges, medical management/telemedicine, procurement of timely Utilization Certificates, disaster forecast and management, weather/rain/flood forecast, etc.
Senior officials from ISRO informed the Minister that seven projects from Arunachal Pradesh in areas like dam construction and flood mitigation, three model villages, horticulture and border fencing at zero level are nearing completion. Similar projects from other states are also on way to achieve target.
The North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) is an autonomous organisation under Department of Space at Shillong and provides dedicated service to the North Eastern Region (NER) of India comprising of eight states viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. The Centre was set up with a vision to play the catalytic role in holistic development of North Eastern Region of India by providing Space Science and Technology support on natural resource management, infrastructure planning, healthcare, education, emergency communication, disaster management support, and space and atmospheric science research.