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Tech aid for forest officials

Kokrajhar, April 27: The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) forest department in collaboration with the Pune-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing today launched a customised software for efficient forest management.

BTC deputy chief Kampha Borgoyary released the CD of the software and the user manual in a programme at the PWD guest house in Kokrajhar today.

The software, Aranya — a spatial decision support system — is envisaged to help forest department managers in routine activities and decision-making process.

This is one of its kind of system, based on the use of geographical information system (GIS) data for monitoring and modelling the forest department.

Serious efforts have been made to convert all the available hard copy maps into GIS format.

Spatial information is that based on satellite maps like administrative boundaries, road, settlements, crime locations, vegetation type, terrain, soil and others whereas, non-spatial information is more of official related datas and information that includes different records available with forest department including village micro-planning documents, working plans, plantation records, joint forest management committee records and others.

In order to use such vast information for management and conservation purposes it is required to have an efficient system, which can store and retrieve the information and carry out different user-defined analysis for taking well informed managerial decisions.

The prerequisite to develop such a system is the availability of validated GIS datasets said Manish Kale, project leader of C-DAC. The tool is based on an open-source technology, which is another important aspect of Aranya.

Open-source technology offers several solutions; is evolving very rapidly and provides the most easy and cheapest solutions using variety of programming tools.

Users will have the flexibility in converting their data to the format that is compatible with the software Aranya.

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