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Tie-up planned with ISRO to map tea gardens: Board
Author£ºColourful Tea    Time£º2007-6-3    Hits£º433

Indrani Dutta

It is aimed at better monitoring of the industry 

Mapping will generate data on the area under tea and location
Water resources and profile of local population can be known

Kolkata: The Tea Board is planning to tie up with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for mapping the tea gardens for better monitoring of the industry and its natural resources.

Sources said that monitoring had become critical for the regulatory body, especially in view of the massive re-plantation exercise that is being taken up. It involves activity over 2.12 lakh hectares out of the 5.26 lakh hectares under tea cultivation in Assam, Dooars and Darjeeling in West Bengal, and Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the south. A small quantity of a speciality tea is also grown in the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh.

Initial meetings on the project entitled Tea Area Development and Management, using remote sensing and geographical indication systems (GIS), have already been held with the faculty of IIT Kharagpur, which runs the regional remote sensing centre (RRSC).

A core group, which would be formed after a final round of meeting with ISRO, would work out the modalities and the finer points, sources said. The project would involve the participation of officials of the Tea Board, the Tea Research Association, the industry and the RRSC. The project will be funded under the 11th Five-Year Plan, which commenced in April 2007.

The mapping, to be done through the GIS, will generate garden-wise data on the actual extent of area under tea cultivation and also their location. It will also throw up data on the extent of area available either for new plantation or for alternative cropping. The profile of the resident population will also be known and village resource centres are planned to be set up accordingly. Water resources, rivers around a garden and their drainage systems will also be known.

The exercise is expected to establish a connectivity with each garden to gather information about the physical progress made under the various development schemes of the Board.

Alongside the connectivity with the organised sector and the large gardens, the remote sensing will identify location of small growers and bought-leaf factories and establish a linkage between them and Board and other agencies.

Sources said that while the cost of the project was still being finalised, it would be funded as a research and development project.


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