EC hands over mapping project to government

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 27:

The European Commission (EC) today handed over the mapping component of the Population and Housing Census Project (PHCP-2002-2005) to the government.

Commissioned at a cost of Euro 2.8 million with assistance from the EC, the project will provide requisite data to planners, researchers and students — all, at the click of a mouse.

The project was implemented around mid-August 2002 to evolve a geo-information infrastructure platform for sharing data among the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the Department of Survey (DOS) and four development-related ministries.

“This national geographic information infrastructure was a crying necessity. The EC has been of great help. We must also take note of what the Finnish and Danish sides did earlier,” said Toya Nath Baral, Director General of the Department of Surveys.

Like Eduardo Lechuga Jimenez, acting head of the EC Delegation to Nepal who handed over the project draft, Baral also referred to the Population and Socio-economic Atlas of Nepal as a commendable work.

The document, which is now available at, lists just about 210 indicators and maps presented electronically. This is a quantum leap from a scenario where researchers used to be left scratching their heads at tabular data.

The website can host many more types of data as and when they are compiled, since the Department of Surveys will continue the work of compiling and making more data available to government institutions.

The highlight of the exercise comprises access to the national database hosted by the Survey Department in 33 districts of the country. The idea behind setting up geographic information infrastructure is to render access to information easy.

While development of a national geographic information system for easy access to and dissemination of the information system is one objective of the XIth Five-Year Plan underway, plans are afoot to kick off the national geographic information infrastructure programme for the XIth Five Year Plan through 2007-2012.

“This will minimise pen, ink and paper usage by 50 per cent. Add to it, instances of decision-making likely to be based on information rather than intuition,” said R R Chhatkuli, national co-director. He also referred to the benefits which the NGOs and international INGOs can draw from the latest innovation.