Express press service
BHUBANESWAR: The state government, for the first time, is using 3D scanning technology – light detection and ranging (LiDAR) – to implement soil and water conservation projects in forest areas .
The initiative aims to improve forage and water in forests, thereby reducing human-animal conflict and increasing groundwater recharge. Laser scanning technology is being tested in Rayagada Forestry Division to create soil and water conservation structures in the first phase, said the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Head of Forestry Force ( HoFF) Sisir Kumar Ratho.
Unlike empirical methods, LiDAR technology offers precise 3D measurement data for site selection to create these structures. The technology has an accuracy level of 95% and above in recommending suitable sites.
The Forestry Department is implementing the project with the assistance of Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited (WAPCOS), a central UAP under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, using funds from CAMPA.
WAPCOS in its DPR recommended the construction of 945 different structures for soil, soil moisture and water conservation over an area of 10,000 hectares within the division. To make the process more scientific, six different parameters including soil water stress, land use pattern and rainfall data were taken into account for the selection of structure sites. The PCCF said if successfully implemented in the division, the Forestry Department would replicate it in other areas of the state in the future.
Besides Odisha, WAPCOS has conducted LiDAR surveys of forest areas in 10 other states including Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.