The North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), a joint venture of the Department of Space and the North Eastern Council (NEC), has facilitated the northeastern states to address issues and challenges of the region with the support of space technology, Union DoNER Minister G. Kishan Reddy said on Saturday.
Addressing a meeting of Chief Ministers and top officials of 8 northeastern states at the NESAC headquarters at Umiam in Meghalaya, Development of North East Region (DoNER) Minister said that the organisation can also provide the required strategic inputs for the entire region for its overall development and strategic planning.
Reddy told the meeting, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, that between 2014 and 2021, the assets of NESAC has almost tripled from Rs 41.6 crore to Rs 112 crore. He said that the activities of NESAC are focused on the practical applications of space technology in agriculture, and allied fields like silk farming where it can help in early detection of diseases.
“As all of us know, Shillong is called the ‘Scotland of the East’ due to its scenic beauty. However, with the efforts of NESAC, I am sure it will soon be known as the ‘Space Tech Capital of the East’,” said Reddy, who also holds the Culture, Tourism ministries.
The Minister said that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision that all the states of the northeastern region have the same opportunities as other states to develop on par with the rest of India.
He said that the NESAC has helped preserve forests by assessing forest fires and protecting endangered wildlife such as rhinos by studying the changing land cover and it also has used satellite communication for telemedicine, and tele-education and about 1000 programs are conducted each year.
According to the minister, this apart, NESAC has helped address the unpredictability of mother nature through weather prediction, and forecasting thunderstorms, lightning, and providing early flood warning and provides urban planning support and states can leverage on this to assess traffic congestion, property encroachments, and the mapping of utilities and assets.
Recently, with support from NEC, NESAC has released the North Eastern Spatial Data Repository (NeSDR) with about 950 datasets. These datasets are related to infrastructure, land and water resources, assets and utilities, terrain, disaster management support inputs and action plan inputs to empower developmental planning and monitoring activities in the NE region.
Reddy said: “As Amit Shah ji is the President of the NESAC Society and the Chairman of the NEC, I am confident that NESAC would expand its footprint and prove to be a model of development for other States as well, as it paves way for holistic development of the region.”
Shah later laid the foundation stone for the multi-purpose convention centre cum space exhibition facility of NESAC.