Meghalaya

Geospatial Applications

1. Generation of 3D Terrain Model for all the districts using High resolution satellite, Survey of India map and Elevation data for Police and Civil authorities. These Models were handed over to Meghalaya police and state planning department for their planning & operational requirements.

Fig 1: Snapshots of 3D Terrain Models generated of Meghalya

About 25 watershed basin areas were generated using Survey of India Elevation 20 meter contour interval data for the State of Meghalaya under the state’s “Integrated Basin Development & Livelihood Program (IBDLH)” implemented by State Basin Development Authority. Then all basins were superimposed on 3D Terrain Model and were analyzed for possible location of small and multiple reservoirs based on suitable terrain conditions like topography, locality and ecological impact. About 40 reservoir locations across the state were identified along with attributes like water capacity at different raised heights of the reservoir, list of benefitted habitations etc provided to the state Government for further ground level planning and implementation.

Fig 2: Proposed Reservoir Location near Phawakgiri Village in West Garo District of Meghalaya

PROPOSED DAM AT VILLAGE NAME : PHAWAKGIRI
ESTIMATED RESERVOIR WATER CAPACITY : 14971 MILLION LITRES
PROPOSED HIGHEST Reservoir Level : 430 M (Mean Sea Level)
PROPOSED DAM HEIGHT : 50M
ESTIMATED DAM SPAN : 325m


2.Watershed Analysis support for Meghalaya Basin Development Authority(MBDA)

A watershed describes an area of land that contains a common set of streams and rivers that all drain into a single larger body of water, such as a larger river, a lake or an ocean. It can cover a small or large land area. Now a day’s it’s in important to identify and delineate watershed for better management and development of natural resources.

The state of Meghalaya experiences huge amount of rainfall, produces a very high volume of water resources, but all drains into Brahmaputra River in Assam and Bangladesh on both sides of the state. Therefore it is necessary to tap the resources by development of each watershed in making dams & reservoirs for use of agricultural, drinking and energy generation purposes. MBDA entrusted NECTAR to carry out watershed analysis project using available data in 1st phase.
During the current year, Watersheds of Meghalaya are being worked upon to estimate the run-off and study the water conservation during the lean season.

Digital elevation model (DEM) provided by Survey of India(SOI) was used in delineating the 35 catchments of Meghalaya. The State of Meghalaya consists of two basin namely left bank of Brahmaputra and Brahmaputra tributaries that flows into Bangladesh. Out of the 35 watersheds, 26 are the major watershed for the State with “Kynchiang” being the largest watershed in the state having its water flowing into Bangladesh. The watersheds can further be subdivided into micro-watersheds based on need and requirements.

Raw TRMM rainfall data provided by NASA was downloaded from its website and converted into Raster data using GIS software. Rainfall data for respective area or catchments was extracted from Raster data using GIS software. A hydrodynamic modeling software MIKE11 was used to calculate the runoff for each of 26 watersheds using catchment area, catchment slope, curve number, longest stream length and rainfall data etc. as input parameters into it.

Fig 3: Analysis of water availability on Singra Catchment of Meghalaya.


3. Drone project for acquisition of high resolution image data for land use map in Assam- Meghalaya Border areas(Ribhoi district)

About 30 sqkm of Meghalaya - Assam border area in Ribhoi district of Meghalaya was imaged through UAV for application of monitoring illegal mining area and scope & utility of water resources applications in the hill district. The flying activity was completed in the end of the financial year 2013 with acquisition of 2540 number of images in 21 flights/Missions spanning the flying activity for 6 days. The UAV sensors used for the project was Cannon Powershot SX260HS and was capable of imaging with

5cm ground resolution. Apart from the flying activity, 43 numbers of Ground control points were surveyed through DGPS observation. The image data was processed for Orthomossaics and DSM and GIS analysis was done for Meghalaya. It was revealed that a significant changes in the landscape of the area was affected by illegal mining and construction of many developmental work.

Fig 4: Possible illegal Mining Area visualised in Ribhoi District of Meghalaya using Drone flying.


4. Drone project for acquisition of high resolution image data for Ganol River Catchment study and analysis for the planning of small and multipurpose dams in the catchment.

Meghalaya is one of the highest rainfall areas in the world. There are 26 rivers flowing from the Meghalaya hill watersheds into either the river Brahmaputra or towards Bangladesh While these heavy flows cause damage during the monsoon season, there is an acute shortage of water during the remaining months of the year. In large parts of the state farmers grow only crop. Water scarcity has also, to some extent, been one reasons for farmers resorting to Jhoom cultivation. With the constitution of the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority, the State Government has been focusing on planning for water management, livelihood programmes and skill development. However, available data to undertake water management programme in a scientific way has not been possible due to lack of high resolution surface data. Owing to thick vegetation it has been difficult to undertake ground surveys. After exploring different options it was decided to use Unmanned Ariel vehicles for developing high resolution Digital Surface models.Aero-2 system designed and developed by NECTAR was used to photograph the Ganol river. The pixel resolution was 5cm. Using a combination of ground control points and UAV imagery, horizontal accuracy of 10 cm and vertical accuracy of 14 cm was achieved. Some of the examples of possible usage may be seen.

Fig 5: 3D mapping of Ganol River basin and planning of small & multipurpose reservoir for water resource applications.

Fig 6: Mining Area visualised in 3D mapping of Ganol River basin using Drone flying.


5. Creation of NECTAR-Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) GIS Centre at Shillong

Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) has been set up by the state Government with the purpose to address poverty alleviation of rural population and improving the basic services and welfare of the people residing in rural villages. It requires a coordinated effort to create a planning & implementing support system which can produce optimum and productive utilization of the State's natural resources, viz., 'Water', 'Land' and 'Biotic Resources’. This could be done by integrating layers of information about the above three resources and create Relational Geospatial Databases relevant to a particular basin as smallest geographical area. The source of collection of all the layers of information could be done through use of Remote sensing data collection technology Viz, Satellite Image, High Resolution Aerial Image through Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and from other sources viz Field survey, existing Maps, Attributes information held by different departments in the state.

Since the state of Meghalaya experiences huge amount of rainfall, produces a very high volume of water resources, but all drains into Brahmaputra River in Assam and Bangladesh on both sides of the state. Therefore it is necessary to tap the resources by development of each watershed in making dams & reservoirs for use of agricultural, drinking and energy generation purposes. Also the state has huge amount of forest resources, Mining reserves and potential tourist hotspots. These resources could be explored by proper planning & execution which could be done by use of GIS. The state could get benefit from its reopening of mining activity, which was generating revenue of Rs 600 cores earlier, banned by National Green Tribunal (NGT) due to environmental pollution. This could only be possible through mapping of mining areas and understanding the watersheds which need to be developed with metal/chemical absorbing plants to control the current pollution level. Collecting information on the above resources, collating these into a GIS and performing analysis over a GIS platform, is a job well within the reach of NECTAR. Apart from these, the Centre can provide GIS analysis of all gaps in the existing infrastructures like Health & Educational facilities, planning of road network and other social assets. This would provide a critical analysis and knowledge platform to undertake decisions for revenue generation to the state Government.

The main objective of the project would be to create a Joint GIS Centre with MBDA and NECTAR which would provide a critical information and knowledge platform for planning, analysis and monitoring of the activities under MBDA. The GIS Centre would be extensively used to build comprehensive data bank pertaining to the watershed systems in the state. The layers of information relevant to the basin development would be the administrative, watershed, forest and surface water boundaries, stream and road network, social infrastructures viz. schools & Hospitals, Village name & locations etc. The layers information on biodiversity data, climatic data, mining and soil type data also could be added in the list which would make the analysis better. The most important layer is the elevation data with desired resolution to plan and construct the reservoirs over the basin would be processed from UAV aerial images. All the data building process would be done initially in the lab within the framework of Server-client Local Area Network with close coordination of NECTAR’s supervision along with state resources. The most important use of the Centre would be GIS analysis of all the data for better information & facts useful for decision making. It also would take care of updation of data bank periodically. The Centre shall be setup in two phases. Initially in the first phase, it shall be planned for acquiring three basic line items - 1.Setting up Hardware, software and storage 2.Data Compilation 3. Training & Technical support. In the second Phase the system shall be scaled to development of a wide Area Network or Web Based GIS platform for continual updation & further value addition.

In order to achieve this goal one server with large amount of storage would be required which shall become a nodal point of data access. Few workstations shall be required for data compilation & creation and analysis which will be done in client-server mode. The server and workstations will be equipped with NECTARGIS, customized application software in professional GIS platform built in oracle database software integrated with 3D Terrain Model. The software will be further customized by NECTAR in accordance to the need of state basin GIS analysis. The training and capacity building could be gradually conducted during the implementation. In future once the data bank is built, the GIS lab along with the data can be utilized for not only MBDA department but can be used as state GIS Centre which may cater complete GIS application projects for different departments in multidisciplinary areas.

Fig 7: Meghalaya MBDA GIS Centre set up by NECTAR

Communication Activities

1. SDR Project for Communication Modernization and upgradation, MPRO requested NECTAR(Erstwhile MGA) to provide reliable and stable communication system covering long distance.NECTAR had set up a network of HF Radios connecting 14 Police station situated in interior location in various districts of Meghalaya with 1 (one) Central control Room at Shillong for Meghalaya Police Radio Organisation(MPRO). Through this network, now each police station can

communicate with each other and also with Central Control Room, Shillong. They are using it on regular basis for daily routine call and passing of important messages among various police stations.


2. Mesh Network for CCTV based surveillance has been set up in 30 locations in Shillong & 14 locations in Tura.

On the request of Govt. of Meghalaya for a project ’Safe, Secure Shillong”, an integrated surveillance system was designed and set up in Shillong. The network has been designed with fixed IP cameras as well as PTZ (Point, Tilt and Zoom) cameras. The average throughput provides sufficient bandwidth to have a streaming data with a clear picture. The control room has the capability to focus the PTZ cameras according to their requirement. The system has been designed with a back bone where we are getting a throughput of 400-800 mbps and then branches are taken from these which have a speed of up to 150 mbps. With this surveillance system the Shillong Police has been able to identify 346 cases of law violation, theft and other illegal activities out of which 86 have been solved by getting the offenders apprehended.

The CCTV surveillance systems in Shillong city comprising of 30 locations includes 120 IP based Surveillance HD cameras (30 PTZ Facility & 90 Veri-Focal full High Definition bullet cameras) capable of 24X7 Day & Night Vision. Set Up Modern control room with 8 Display units & state of art Hyper Convergence Storage up to 15 days data backup.Training and capacity Building by NECTAR

The CCTV surveillance systems in Tura city comprising of 14 locations includes 14 PTZ cameras and 45 bullet cameras with capable of 24x7 Day & Night Vision. Set Up Modern Control Room with 06 Display units & storage up to 15 days data backup.

Fig 8: Day and night picture quality as outcome of the CCTV systems in Meghalaya

Storage cum computation system (storage convergence):

In continuation with the surveillance system project (CCTV) for Shillong & Tura, NECTAR decided to explore other possibilities for storage system apart from Network Video Recorders (NVRs) which have its limitations. The objective is to create a surveillance system that uses multiple IP cameras to watch, store and analyze videos at many locations. This system needs to be reasonably fault tolerant, resilient, and easily scalable to increase in no. of cameras, and enable video analytics from any location. Additionally, it should also allow for long term archival of all the video seamlessly.

The proposed project could give a major advantage in storage, data back up and analysis since it is a composite system.

  • This solution has no single point of failure in any of the building blocks. The storage and analytics unit has redundant power supplies and fans. The management nodes are very thin and do not need to have redundancy. Rather two or more of them provide the fault tolerance and load balancing capability. The video capture node will have redundancy in power supply and fans.
  • The proposed solution is ideally suited for analytics as the storage appliances suggested here have compute capability thereby allowing extremely fast analytics on all the data storage by all the cameras.
  • The proposed solution requires no change as it seamlessly handles this case.
  • Increasing the storage and analytics capability is seamless with the proposed solution. One can keep adding the storage and analytics appliances to increase the length of time the data is stored for analytics.
  • This is seamless for the proposed solution. An archival can be attached to the analytics appliance and data can be achieved seamlessly.
  • Any camera can be displayed on any TV and can be viewed from anywhere (location).


3. Mesh Net for tele-medicine has been operationalized in West Garo district of Meghalaya
with nodes placed between district hospitals in TURA and 07 numbers of PHCs, CHCs and maternity hospital in remote areas.

Rapidly evolving telecommunications technologies are creating an environment where individuals will be able to communicate interactively using a variety of media. These modes of communication will be available on demand, just as telephone service is today, and used in many situations that now require person to person contact. The application of these technologies to provide medical care is referred to as telemedicine. The medical potential for these new technologies is being researched, but it is still to be determined how effective these technologies will be in extending the reach of medical care to geographically and socioeconomically isolated populations.

Despite an abundance of physicians and a large, well financed health care system, many areas of the United States still face a chronic shortage of medical providers of all types. Additionally, the ability of most persons living in rural areas to receive the most current specialty or sub-specialty care will be limited geographically under any future system of health care envisioned. These access and provider distribution issues must be addressed in order to achieve quality health care in the medically underserved areas of the United States. The ability to provide medical care through telemedicine offers a practical solution to this misdistribution.

Medical providers have shown a willingness to adopt new technical advances in communications as they have become practical. If this historical trend continues, telemedicine will become a major mode of medical communications in many areas of practice, especially in extending the reach of specialist providers to geographically and socioeconomically isolated populations. As a result, an understanding of these new modes of medical communication and consultation is essential for the health care professional.

On success of Nagaland Telemedicine project, the same technology was implemented at Meghalaya in the west Garo Hills region. The major challenge here was to overcome the foliage loss due to high absorption of radio frequency energy emission from radio. To make connectivity, specialized towers and aerials were designed so that speed could be achieved between 150 to 180 Mbps.

The nodes are placed between district hospitals in TURA and 07 numbers of PHCs, CHCs and maternity hospital in remote areas. The network was operational from march 2014, providing the services of specialized doctors for patients of PHCs and CHCs of remote locations. Also can be utilized for video conferencing for centralized Training and Lectures. DC office is also connected in the loop for monitoring purpose.