The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) seeking the help of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to expedite the ongoing project of high-resolution satellite imaging and video mapping of dense forest areas, used by naxalites and jihadis as hideouts. The personnel operating in these Maoist-affected areas have been provided laptops featuring the GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping data of the regions in the “red corridor”.
State-of-the-art control rooms with giant TV screens that will help track the offensive of security forces in Naxal strongholds with satellite imaging and GPS have been activated at the CRPF headquarters. ISRO, Bangalore, is designated as the lead agency for satellite imageries as well as compact GIS solutions for the force. It will provide a customized service to CRPF for providing ground level observation as well as navigation with precision and speed for operational effectiveness,” said a senior home ministry official.
According to officials, the CRPF purchased 65 GIS mobile work-stations from the Department of Science and Technology and distributed to these units based in Left Wing Extremist areas. The force also distributed 13 high-end work-stations with the software in the areas. These work-stations contain the complete mapping of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa. We have further mapped seven districts in Madhya Pradesh and 14 districts in Bihar. In West Bengal, only East Midnapore has been mapped so far. The satellite imagery for the complete state of West Bengal and three worst-affected districts of Maharashtra — Gadchiroli, Bhandara and Gondia — is underway,” said the CRPF spokesperson.
As Maoists continue to have a free run in large areas of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, the CRPF has now turned to ISRO seeking help in tracking the extremists in hilly terrain and dense forests.