Local Area Planning: Use of Maps in Managing the Local Area Planning, a Case Study of Local Area Planning

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Use of Maps in Managing the Local Area Planning

Maps In Managing The Local Area Planning

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  • Knowledge about the local area, where people live and work, is of prime importance. The precise, accurate, and comprehensive knowledge helps to manage and plan in an effective manner. Understanding the capacity of land, work efficiency of the people, and their belief system is essential to develop a local area plan. The acquired knowledge information needs to be transferred in some presentable form for discussion and interactions on the theme supervising activities, and guidance. The primary data, the issues, and problems needs to be organized in a systematic manner reflecting the qualities over the land. For this maps, diagrams, charts, photographs and sketches are very necessary. Maps act as a shorthand script to planners and geographers and a guide to common people. Local areas vary significantly in their physical set up and socio-economic conditions.

  • There are different techniques to record and display the information/knowledge. Among various forms of presenting information, maps are the most effective tools of knowledge as they use scales and directions for true representation and theme specific focus. Besides, maps are easy to handle, comprehend, and communicate through.

Use of Maps, Sketches and Photographs

Maps are used for a variety of purposes. They are used for the identification of landforms, resources, human settlements, and site-specific facilities and amenities. Maps are also used to show designs of buildings, transport routes, and planning for the location of various activities such as markets, industries, schools, parks, playgrounds etc. The exercise on the feasibilities and viability of a planning project is also assessed through its maps. A drawing without having a scale, direction, and projection is called as a sketch map. Sketches are used as a rough drawing for on the spot representation of facts and a remembrance for the records. These sketch maps and photographs are quite useful for finalizing the blueprint of a local area planning.

Choosing the Size and Scale of Maps for Local Area Planning

Among various factors that have to be considered while preparing a map, the size of map, details to be shown, choice of the scale etc. are quite important. The size of a map will, in its turn, determine the scope of elements to be covered. The details to be shown determine the symbolization and shades for each element. The choice of the scale is guided by the space available for representing facts of the area on the map. Scale is the ratio between the map distance and the ground distance. Based on the requirement maps could be small or large scales. Small scale maps are used to show large areas with a few details. For example, world maps, wall maps, atlas maps etc. are drawn on small scales. On the other hand, large scales are used to represent the plan of a building, agricultural fields/plots of a village locality topographical sheets etc. For local area planning, disaster management, public distribution systems and so on large scale maps are used as they depict many information of a small area in detail.

Maps in Managing the Local Area Planning

  • Maps are the basic tools for builders, developers, managers, and planners. They act as guides to the visitors and ideals of achievements to the participants, planners, and the people. Maps are the blueprints of the future plans.

  • A base map is essential for planning the local area. It helps to conduct surveys related to land use, market, traffic consumer, household etc. Base maps help in developing other theme specific maps, diagrams, and charts. It is a guide to the locality and the people for whom planning is to be conducted.

  • A draft plan map is prepared based on the results of the field work. The need-based planning proposals, their sites, designs, and details of the cost are depicted on the large-scale map. The draft map helps in holding discussion and inviting suggestions from the experts and the local people. The discussions and suggestions finally help in designing the blueprint for the planning.

  • Maps act as a base for knowing local area demands like buildings for public use such as schools and hospitals, funds, facilities, measurements of different kinds, and expected expenditures or costs. Since maps carry detailed information and are also self-explanatory, they become a direct appeal to the funding agencies for their approval. Theme specific maps help in presentations, logical argumentation, and step wise implementation of the local area plan.

  • Use of modern technology in mapping like computer cartography, GIS, image processing etc. has made it possible to prepare maps of various kinds on different scales. Similarly, communication technology like internet, online, website etc. present scopes for transferring knowledge to other people and places. Thus, mapping and communication technologies have a direct relevance to local area planning.

A Case Study of Local Area Planning: Village Akabarpur (Banda, Uttar Pradesh)

  • The village Akbarpur, is in district Banda in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Geographically, the village lies at about 25o12’N latitude and 80o47’E longitude. The village is located in the northern margin of Central Indian plateau and forms the part of Bundelkhand region.

  • Vindhyan hills and Badause forest range forms the southern and south western limits of the village. Towards north the village has common boundary with villages Chhatan and Pahara, while towards the south it has common boundary with Gonda, Kurari, and Bharatkup. The general slope of the land is from south-west to north-east. In terms of structural formation, the Vindhyan sandstone forms the upper surface upon which Trans-Yamuna alluvial soil forms the top layer. However, there are mainly three types of soils in the village.

  • The forest and hill soil found along the foothills and is characterized by the pieces of pebbles mixed in the thin soil cover. The black and yellow mixed soils are commonly found in the middle zone, while black alluvial soils dominate in the northern part of the village. Akbarpur experiences a transitional climate between hot moist climate of north-east and hot dry climate of the Thar desert. It records high temperatures during summer ranging between 40o- 45oC and low temperatures during winter ranging between 5o- 10oC.

  • Most of the rainfall occurs during summer monsoon months. The amount of average annual rainfall ranges between 55-80 cm. The village has a mosque towards the west and temple towards the south-east. While majority of the village population belongs to Hindu Community, about 1/5th of the population belongs to Muslim Community as well. It is a multi-occupational village having farmers, pastoralists, artisans, transporters, traders, and other service providers.

Socio-Economic Setup

  • Having an area of 1582 acres and a population of 3952 persons in the year 2005, Akbarpur is a medium size village. There are 382 households in the village. Nearly half of the households (197) belong to farming communities followed by agricultural labourers (106). Thus about 76.7 % households are directly engaged in agricultural activities. Nearly 15 % households belong to the weavers’ community and remaining about 8 % households belong to the category of artisans and other service providers. In terms of land holding less than 1 % (0.94%) are large farmers, nearly 9 % (8.91%) are medium farmers, and remaining large majority are small and marginal farmers. Landless agricultural labourers account for about 37 % of the total households in the village.

  • Nearly 37 % of the total population is literate. Of the total population, about 39.52 % are the workers of which nearly 36 % are the main workers and about 3 % are the marginal workers. Main workers are those who remain engaged in specific works throughout the year, whereas marginal workers are employed for some part of the year on supplementary basis. In terms of general land use about 113 acres are not available for cultivation. The cultivable waste and fallow land account for 119 acres. The forest area of the village account for about 20.54 acres while total cultivable land is 646 acres. The actual area under cultivation is 379 acres of which nearly 3/4th (287 acres) is reported to be irrigated.

  • In terms of connectivity the village is well served by Jhansi-Allahabad highway and Jhansi-Manikpur section of Central railway. Towards the east city of Allahabad lies at a distance of about 135 km and Kowri Town at about 15 km, while towards west Banda lies at a distance of 55 km. There is a bus stand in the village and the nearest railway station is at 1½ km.

Agricultural Land Use

Agricultural land use changes from season to season. Nearly 63 % of the net sown area is devoted to Kharif crops, while about 36 % of the net sown area is devoted to Rabi crops and remaining about 1 % area to Zaid crops. An account of kharif crops is presented here. Of the total cultivated land in kharif season rice accounted for about 32 %, jowar nearby 25 % and bajra about 24 percent. Thus about 82 % of the cropped area is devoted to these three crops only. Among other Kharif crops cotton accounted for about 8.00 %, pulses about 4.68 % and oil seeds about 2.78 %. Orchards and fibre crops account for 1 % each.

Amenities and Social Facilities

An account of amenities and social facilities reflect the level of social infrastructure in the locality. These are the basic requirements for all types of development. There are five personal phone sets besides one public call office in the village. Being located at the roadside, there is a request bus stop in the village. Similarly, Bharatkup is the nearest railway station and is at a short distance of one and a half kilometre from the village. In terms of educational facilities, the village has one primary as well as one junior high school. There are two medical practitioners and a government dispensary. A small rural market has also developed along the roadside. There are nine small shops dealing with sweets and refreshment, tea, betel, general merchandise, stone pieces, firewood, repair shade, medical practitioner etc. The village has a security check post. In terms of drinking water facility, there are five wells in the village, 17 private handpumps, and three handpumps installed by the government.

Common Property Resources

  • The identification and utilization of common property resources for the welfare of the community is an important basis of developing a locality. Village Akbarpur has a large stock of common land, water, grasses, and trees which need to be managed and maintained for the long-term welfare of the society. In terms of land resources Vindhyan Hills in the south offer stone pieces and blocks of stones, black, yellow, and stony soils offer construction material besides acting as basis for all primary activities. In terms of water, village has one large and one small pond. While large pond lies close to the hills, small pond is towards the north-eastern side.

  • These ponds are very common sites in plateau areas and are the basis for supply of water to animals and wildlife. These ponds also serve as a basis for fisheries for local consumption and raising crops like water chestnuts, lotus etc. Grasslands are the common property resource in the village. They are found as pieces of land along railway and highway tracts, along river, streams, and adjacent to hilly tract in the south. Domestic animals of the village like sheep, goats, cows, buffaloes, oxen, ponies etc. graze in these pastures. Trees are yet another important common property resources.

  • These trees provide valuable fruits, flowers, furniture wood, and firewood’s besides giving green look to the surroundings. Mangoes and Mahua are the large trees and are known for their commercial value in terms of fruits, flowers, and furniture wood. Eucalyptus, Babool, Neem etc. are other trees used for furniture and fuel by the local residents. Kadam, Kaner bushes etc. are dwarf trees used by sheep goats for grazing besides being used as flowering plants in the hill slopes.

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