Guwahati, Thursday, September 20, 2012
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No survey map of Assam since Independence!
Raju Das
 SHILLONG, Sept 19 – The country’s principal mapping agency, the Survey of India (SoI), has never published a map of the State of Assam after independence.

The SoI, the oldest scientific department of India, maps the country’s geographical limits and also the States and Union Territories therein. But, bafflingly, it has never published a map of Assam so far, after 1947.

The only map of Assam, as surveyed by SoI, is together with the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura Meghalaya and Mizoram.

“SoI has not yet published any separate map titled “State of Assam.” However, a combined map of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura on scale 1: 1, 000,000, Publication year 1984 with some footnotes,” Prashant Kumar, Superintendent Surveyor, SoI, Meghalaya and Arunachal, said. The map can be procured by the public at a cost of Rs 110.

Kumar provided this reply to queries, filed under Right to Information, by women activist, Agnes Kharshiing. She had sought “a copy of the map of Assam just after independence”.

Set up in 1767, the SoI has 19 directorates spread across the country. Its special responsibility is to ensure that the country's domain is explored and mapped suitably and provide base maps for expeditious and integrated development.

Meanwhile, on Kharshiing’s other request to provide the map of “Khasi States, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills” as surveyed after independence, Kumar said, “parts of Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills along with different districts of Assam and erstwhile East Pakistan, published during 50s are available with this GDC (Geo-Spatial Data Centre.)”

He, however, continued that these “maps are of Restricted nature and cannot be provided to any individual/private organisations.”

About the map of Meghalaya after it attained Statehood in 1972, Kumar said the map of Meghalaya was published for the first time by SoI on a scale of 1:4000000, publication year 2009 and is available at the GDC’s map sale office.”

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