Editorial: Geotagging of Kashmirís Waterbodies

The Divisional Comissioner of Kashmir, recently held a meeting of the concerned officials to review the progress in the demarcation process through geotagging of various waterbodies including Dal Kake, Nigeen Lake , Aanchar Lake , Manasbal Lake , Brari Numbal, Gilsar, and Khushalsar water bodies for their preservation and conservation.

Though the process of Geotagging is widely used in many parts of the world and the country for a while now, it was thought of an a required intervention for conservation and preservation of waterbodies in the valley only some time ago.

Geotagging is the process of adding geographical information to various media in the form of metadata. The data usually consists of coordinates like latitude and longitude, but may even include bearing, altitude, distance and place names. Geotagging is most commonly used for photographs and can help people get a lot of specific information about where the subject in the picture.

The process will help demarcate the waterbodies in a scientific way and help identifying existing encroachments as well as flagging up any attempts of encroachment in the future.

The process once completed and integrated with the revenue and urban development related departments will ensure authorities have realtime information on any encroachments or violations of any relevant laws for development in and around the waterbodies.

Many states have integrated the geotagging data with the process of issuance of permissions for constriction and development, thus minimising the chances of encroachment and violation of related laws.

In kashmir, the waterbodies that have always been termed the should of the paradise have been dying a slow death. One one hand the inflow of toxic waste have made them poisonous, on the other hand , rampant encroachment and illegal constructions have lead to a stage of existential threat to such waterbodies.

While many departments that are supposed to work in tandem to ensure conservation of these waterbodies claim that they are doing there best, the reality on ground is definitely not supporting these claims.

As such, the process of geotagging these waterbodies will go a long way in augment the conservation efforts on the ground.

But it is imperative to bring speed to the process for better results. We have no time to waste.

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