Govt to prepare digital topographical map
Tk 3.74bn can be saved a year
The government with help of satellite imagery and digital elevation model will prepare a digital topographical map for implementing the country’s development programmes which can save at least Tk 3.74 billion a year.
A recent study conducted by the national surveying and mapping agency, Survey of Bangladesh (SOB) revealed new scope of cutting government and private sectors’ expenditures in several economic fields.
The study also estimated that the total economic benefits would be Tk 18.90 billion a year if indirect economic effects were accumulated with the direct benefits of the new digital map.Bangladesh Survey Directorate under Defence Ministry had already selected a Japanese consulting firm to assist the government in preparing the digital topographical map.A defence ministry’s proposal is likely to be placed before the cabinet committee on economic affairs next week for approval, according to committee sources.
Defence Secretary Khandaker M Asaduzzaman said successful implementation of the project would provide a common platform for the government agencies as well as private sector for using geographical data for development of the country.
Professor Ainun Nishat, vice-chancellor of BRAC University, told daily sun on Saturday that foreign donors like Japanese agencies would provide technological support.
“Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) has already used the digital mapping system (IDMS), although it faced difficulties in modelling,” he added.
He further said BWDB used satellite map after 1988 devastating floods for forecasting such disaster. The Finland government prepared a digital map of whole Bangladesh.
Using a digital map might be good in forecasting, he added and stressed on improvement of efficiency.
The programme is targeted at preparing a new 1:25,000 scale digital topographical map covering whole territory and 1:5,000 scale digital topographical map covering five major cities.
Official sources said the existing 1:50,000 scale national base map covering the whole territory of Bangladesh was prepared 50 to 60 years ago.
The study also said digital topographical maps can be used in the fields of communications, agriculture, infrastructural development, enforcement of law and order, disaster warning, defence, engineering and establishing e-governance for expediting work as well as reducing activation cost.
Of the projected saving amount, the study estimated that the highest Tk 980 million can be saved from transportation sector every year, followed by power sector by Tk 550 million.
The digital mapping system would save Tk 410 million in health and population sector, Tk 390 million in rural development, Tk 365 million in physical planning, water distribution and housing and Tk 301.6 million in agriculture sector.
A Japanese consulting firm PASCO Corporation was selected by the defence ministry under item of acquisition of satellite imagery of improvement of digital mapping system (IDMS) programme.
The government will be given Tk 153.2 million from Japanese Debt Relief Grant Assistance (DRGA) counterpart fund as consultancy fees for operation of Japanese consulting firm to provide satellite imagery and digital elevation modal services to the government as well as private sectors.
As per the defence ministry’s proposal, two Japanese consulting firms — Nakanihin Air Service Company Ltd and PASCO Corporation — took part in the tender process.
Considering growing demand for new maps, SOB had decided to take up a project under “Improvement of Digital Mapping System (IDMS)” programme.
The Japan government had supported this project “Bangladesh Digital Mapping Assistance Programme (BDMAP)” under its technical cooperation programme.
For public and private sectors, statistical data especially geographic information like topographical maps is the fundamental need for planning and implementation of various types of development projects, SOB sources said.
SOB had decided to take initiative to set up six permanent Global Positioning System stations in six districts from the current fiscal year which will help convert all maps in the country into digital format with creation of a geo-database, according to the defence ministry’s proposal.