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Chapter 1: Introduction
Gadchiroli has traditionally been the most backward district in the
state of the Maharashtra. On all the developmental indicators
especially the HDI Gadchiroli has somehow remained worst off in
the whole state. But the district administration is determined to
reverse the situation. In last few years only Gadchiroli has
progressed at various fronts simultaneously at very fast pace. The
district has achieved ground breaking success in the
implementation of the two flagship schemes of MGNREGS and
Forest Rights Act 2006 in last two years. Especially in the FRA
2006 Gadchiroli is leading the state from the front. It has the
credit of having maximum number of land rights being distributed
in the state as well as in the country till now. The developmental
schemes are being dovetailed with one another to extract the
maximum benefit out of each one of them. Convergence is the
Mantra of today’s Gadchiroli, whether it is amongst various
schemes or the intervention of IT in facilitating the
implementation of the developmental initiatives.

We have moved beyond the stage of e-governance and we

introduce what should be called I-Governance i.e. Innovative
Governance. In Gadchiroli the problems are huge and mostly
unique in nature. It’s been widely accepted that in such areas the
traditional approach to the governance is not going to work.
Therefore in Gadchiroli the focus has been shifted to innovation in
1 |Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,
every aspect of the administration, introduction of IT in various
spheres has become just a facilitating mechanism to achieve the
higher order of innovative efficiency. Out of the box thinking is
the need of the day if we want to address the backlog of
development that has set into the district due to the decades of
neglect and misplaced priorities in the administration.

In Gadchiroli we have made extensive deployment of ICT based

systems to fill the gaps that exist in our service delivery
framework. We have gone several steps ahead of the
conventional model of Kiosk based certificates’ distribution to the
public and implemented the services which have impacted the
lives of the citizens very critically. Our model includes the
guidelines specified for the e-District model of the NeGP, Govt of
India, and goes beyond it. In the coming chapters we will see how
we have gone around implementing the most modern of the
technologies in some of the most backward, difficult and
dangerous areas anywhere in the world.

2| Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

Chapter 2: Innovations @ Gadchiroli

Gadchiroli is a highly challenging landscape for any kind of

development exercise. The district is not only heavily forested,
and hilly in terrain, but also dangerously infested with Naxalites
who threaten any kind of development exercise in the district, In
the face of such challenges we have managed to penetrate
almost every nook and corner of the district using precise and
context based IT applications. Our approach will become evident
in the following projects that have been undertaken in the district
to bridge the gap between the popular expectation and the
results of administrative exercise.

Our efforts have been based on two types of approach

- Improvement of existing systems

- Formulation of new systems and procedures

Following is the list of projects that have been implemented and

running successfully in Gadchiroli-

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Projects involving Improvement of existing systems

ICT based Disaster Management Plan- implemented by the

Disaster Management Cell of the district Gadchiroli as part of its
Disaster Management Programme

1. e-Flood Alert Project- It consists of following innovative


i. Control Room for constant flood situation


ii. CUG Mobile distribution under disaster

management cell
iii. SMS based Flood Alert System (includes a query
module to monitor in between scheduled alerts)

2. SMS based Water level monitoring in the Observation Wells

3. SMS based Blood donor information and registration system
4. Wild life monitoring system and automatic pumping system
at bore well of drinking water for wild animals.
5. e-News
Project e-Swasthya - Use of PDAs for monitoring and creation
of MIS for the implementation of ICDS in the district on a pilot

- PDAs given to the lowest level ground functionaries to report

the progress of the ICDS on a real time basis

4| Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

- MIS including complete health profile of the children and
expectant and lactating mothers created and made available
online to everyone

- On-call ambulance cum Maternity van: dramatically reduced

infant and maternal mortalities in the areas of their

- Central call centre equipped with VHF GPS tracking

capabilities to track all the ambulances in the district and
send the ambulance nearest to the call generating location.

Innovative Use of IT

- IVRS and web based seed and soil testing Information and
assistance system

- e-Vidya- Computer education and long distance education

using V-Sat facilities in remote and inaccessible locations

In the coming chapters we are going to see the details about

these projects.

Chapter 3: ICT based Disaster Management


In the field of systemic improvement, our main focus has been to

introduce the innovative use of Information technology in
ensuring better efficiency and service delivery to the citizens. We
have realized that the IT can be most useful in speedy information
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processing and dissemination. So we saw it fit to integrate most
of our IT based initiatives with the district’s disaster management
system. Thus, the Disaster Management Cell of the district
undertook various initiatives to strengthen its disaster handling

Our mission is vulnerability reduction with respect of all types of

hazards, be it natural or manmade. This is not an easy task to
achieve, keeping in view the vast population, and the multiple
natural hazards to which this country is exposed. However, if we
are firm in our conviction and resolve that the Government and
the people of this country are not prepared to pay the price in
terms of massive casualties and economic losses, the task,
though difficult, is achievable and we shall achieve it.

District Gadchiroli is situated at the east and extreme end of

the Maharashtra state and is well known for dense forest,
beautiful hills and rivers. However now a days the district comes
into limelight only because of naxal activities. Gondia district is
situated on the north side towards east shares borders of
Rajnandgaon Baster District of Chattisgad state; towards south it
shares borders of Karimnagar, Adilabad district of Andhra
Pradesh. All these neighboring districts are Naxal affected.
Gadchiroli is a tribal district and mainly includes gond, pardhan,
madia, rajgond tribes. The Total Population of Gadchiroli District is
11.03 lakh and tribal population is 3.72 lakh i.e. 38.35%.
6| Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,
Gadchiroli district is well known about tribal people and most of
the peoples are farmer. Specialty of this district is the number big
and small rivers that cross through this district, so in rainy season
all the rivers having huge quantities of water flow very violently
and make it a very vulnerable situation for the river bank of the
people. Rivers are as follows in district Gadchiroli

S.N Name of Affected Area

o River
1 Wainganga Wadasa
2 Godavari Somnur
3 Indravati Somnur,Damrancha,Hindur
4 Gadvi Vichiro,Shankarpur,Mohgaon,Ara
5 Sati Kurkheda,Manapur
6 Khobragadi Malewada
7 Kathani Gadchiroli
8 Pranhita Mrudukrishanapur,Gadaheri,Siro
9 Parlakota Bhamragad
10 Palamgouta Lahiri

Every year due to heavy rainfall, the floods cause substantial loss
to people and property. Administration has to rehabilitate
thousands of people to safer place. So, for the prevention from
7| Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,
the damages arising due to natural calamities and also to reduce
cost on rehabilitation of the river bank people, we have made
extensive IT made interventions.

Strategy adopted: District administration has taken preventive

measures for to provide the services under disaster management
cell like

• Control Room of disaster management cell, collector office

• Emergency Ambulance services with VHF-GPS for flood
havoc river bank area people.
• CUG Mobile distribution to head persons of the villages that
were living in river banks.
• GSM based flood monitoring system for pre-alert SMS of
current water level of river.
• Automatic water level measurement system through Mobile
SMS on OB(Observation) well for groundwater survey and
development agency.
• Wild life monitoring system and automatic pumping system
at bore-well of drinking water for wild animals
• E-News system for daily updates of flood in media person of
district and state level.
3.1: e-Flood Alert
I. Control Room: An Emergency Operations Center (Disaster
Management Cell) exists in collector office, Gadchiroli, which
functions round the clock, to assist the divisional
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commissioner office in the discharge of his duties. The
activities of the Control Room include collection and
transmission of information concerning natural calamity and
relief, keeping close contact with governments of the
affected villages, interaction with other state
Ministries/Departments/Organizations in connection with
relief, maintaining records containing all relevant
information relating to action points and contact points in
state Ministries etc., keeping up-to-date details of all
concerned officers at the State levels. District administration
has provided the emergency ambulances in flood affected
area because to provide health services immediately to the
victims. Through VHF-GPS fitted in the ambulances, control
room keeps track of the information about their current
II. CUG Mobile distribution under disaster management
In Gadchiroli district, 42 villages are flood affected, so
district administration has given the CUG mobile to villages
people like Sarpanch, talathi, Gram Sevak. In case of
emergency, villagers could be directly connected to control
room or vice versa. The first step in implementing an
efficient flood damage control programme is developing a
fast and least error alert and information system.

9| Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

III. District Administration implemented GSM based E-Flood
monitoring system- Disaster Management Cell has
installed and commissioned GSM based E-Flood monitoring
system on 13 destinations which have been chronically flood
affected. Before installing this system, DMC had surveyed
the area which has been flood affected in previous years and
selected most vulnerable 13 destinations for installation. The
system consists of following three main modules-
a) GSM based flood monitoring equipment With solar panel
b) Flood server for collecting data of current water level
through GSM module
c) Web portal for live updates of current water levels of river.
GSM based flood monitoring equipment is a completely
customized one consisting of various electronics equipment
integrated with the help of mobile technology. We have
installed and commissioned flood detection equipments at
all the destinations most of which are very remote and
affected by naxal activities. Basic concept of behind this
project was to give prior intimation of current water level of
river on mobile through SMS. In this system, we have
prepared the four water level alert like
1) River water flow is normal level : means it is safe for
transportation, no need to panic
2) River water flow is above normal level: means it is safe but
be alert
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3) River water flow is danger level : means be alert for flood
4) River water flow is above danger level: Flood Alert
All of the above mentioned levels automatically fired the
message through flood monitoring server. Flood GSM based
equipment immediately message to the server like
“Gosikhurd Vainganga River water flow is normal level”. The
Server immediately blasts the alert message to desired
stored mobile numbers within 5 Min. And with help of this
message, concerned disaster management authority comes
to know as to where to provide the help or communicate this
message to all river bank area people.
How it works:
GSM based flood equipment is installed and commissioned
on a high point from river bed like bridge, structure of
irrigation department besides the river bed or on the top of
well besides the river. Height of equipment from the river
bed has been calculated by using measuring instruments
and decided the water level like, if total height of equipment
from the river bed is 10 meter then
1) Normal level is set on 2.0 Meter
2) Above Normal level is set on above 2.0 to 5.0 Meter
3) Danger level is set on above 5.0 to 7.5 Meter
4) Flood Alert More than 7 Meter

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As per the above mentioned levels format, water sensor has
been commissioned to desire destinations. In rainy season,
if water flow of river increases and touch the first water
sensor, sensor immediately response to the equipment and
equipment searching the network and send immediately
request to the flood server which is situated at disaster
management cell.
Server takes the request from the remote flood system and
generates SMS like. River flow of water is on normal level
and sending to stored mobile numbers. If the water level is
decreases then sending the SMS like River flow of water is
below normal level

Adjacent given is the

representation of the
process that goes in the
flood warning system
developed and deployed
in Gadchiroli

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Flood Monitoring equipment on Wainganga River,

On Wainganga River, Armori

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On Wainganga River, Gosikhurd Dam, Bhandara
We have designed the special server for message data
collection and generate SMS notification and send to the
stored numbers. We have collected the cell no list from
divisional commissioner office, Nagpur; police department,
Gadchiroli; and BSNL. With help of this list, we inserted cell
no of district administration officers of 6 districts, police
departments, Gadchiroli and also gram Sevak, talathi, NGO
who works in Gadchiroli. About 7 thousand numbers have
been stored in flood server for the purpose of sending flood

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Flood Server Screen
One more add-on technology we have adopted here, this
server is attached to the SMS gate way server, if you want
any information about the water level of Specific River, we
have made separate keywords with specific promotional
number 54242. These keywords are as follows

o Gad Mark (Markanda Vainganga)

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o Gad Gadv (Vichora Gadhavi)
o Gad Sati (Kurkheda Sati)
o Gad Wani (Wadsa Vainganga)
o Gad Mrud (Mrudukrishnapur Godavari)
o Gad Dam (Damrancha Indravati)
o Gad Bham (Bhamragad Palamgoutam-Parlakota)
o Gad Shi (Shivani Potphodi)
o Gad Gadaheri (GadAheri Pranhita)
o Gad Hin (Hindur Indravati)
o Gad Som (Somnur Godavari)
o Gad Gose (Gosekhurd Vainganga)

16 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

3.2: GSM based water level measurement system in the
Observation Wells through Mobile SMS
It is again very important innovation made which works on
the reverse principle of the flood alert system. While the
flood alert measures the rise in the river water level, this
equipment measures the sinking of the water level. Thus it
can be very useful in sending out the warning regarding an
impending drought. If the water levels sink dangerously low,
the situation will be reported to the district administration in
real time, thus enabling us to make necessary relief
provisions to address any situation of water scarcity

17 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

Kurkheda OB well

Leka Menda OB well

This project is first of its kind in India, which is implemented

in the district of Gadchiroli. This is a GSM based equipment
and tailor made mechanism as per the conditions of the
installation site. In Gadchiroli most of the OB wells are very
far from the district headquarters because area of Gadchiroli
is 14412 sq. km. and 80% is under dense forest cover. So in
summer or rainy season, when it is not easy to go to the OB
well, this innovative mechanism comes in very handy.
Whatever be the water level it is sent by way of an SMS by
the GSM based equipment fitted inside the OB well. For
18 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,
example water levels in Kurkheda Bazar OB well is shown

III.3 Wild life monitoring system and automatic

pumping system at bore well of drinking water for
wild animals
Another very useful variation of above mechanism has been
implemented in the form of water level observation system
in the drinking water stations of the wild animals inside the
forest. In summer season, for drinking water wild animal
comes outside the forest area and due to thirst most of the

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animals died. So, district administration developed
automatic pumping system through Mobile SMS at forest
bore well for drinking water.

Inside the forests drinking water ponds have been

constructed and are filled with the bore wells and electric
pumps. The electricity for them is supplied from the solar
panels fitted at the site itself. If the water level in the pond
goes down due to the evaporation in summers, the sensor
immediately causes the site equipment to send an alert SMS
to the monitoring server in the control room. And the server
sends another SMS to the equipment which switches on the
pump and fills the soccer pot at the site. Once the pot is full
the sensor again causes the equipment to send an ‘Off’ SMS
to the server, server then sends the OFF SMS to the pump
and it turns off. The whole process is implemented through
the control server which logs the fluctuations in the water
level for the officials to monitor in the control room.

20 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

Proposed- We are also planning to install video cameras at
which will also be senor activated and whenever an animal
drinks water from the pot it makes a clip and helps in the
counting of the animals especially the tiger. It can act as a
very effective monitoring system as animals come to drink
water anyway. The more such sites are created inside the
jungle more the accuracy of the monitoring mechanism will

III.4 E-news system for daily updates of flood, wild life

reports to local people of Gadchiroli ,district

administration and media person of district and
state level
District administration has launched E-news project under
disaster management cell. Project features are as follow
• Launched web portal www.e-warta.org, in this portal
district administration upload the latest news of gadchiroli.
• Started E-SMS system, collected the cell no data from
BSNL and subscription facility on web portal, up till now
more than 10000 cell no has stored and daily short news
updates or various types of messages can be broadcast on
behalf of the district administration through SMS.

21 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

A screen shot of the e-news website
As mentioned earlier we tried to develop an integrated
system with the help of IT interventions. In this setup to fully
exploit the potential of SMS based information management
system, we further developed an important module to
maintain an inventory of the information about the potential
blood donors. As Gadchiroli does not have any significant
blood bank facility this information bank can prove to life
saving in times of need. Following is the description of this

III.5 SMS Based Blood Donor information and

Registration facility

This, essentially, is a mobile based application using the SMS

facility to provide information on the blood group donors in
the district.
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District administration develops following two systems for
the citizens of Gadchiroli which is very helpful for providing
instant health services to victims of any accident,
requirement of blood and eye.

 Blood Donor Information System through Mobile SMS

 Registration of Blood and Eye Donor through Mobile SMS
Blood Donor Information System: This system is
completely web based customized solutions and integrated
with SMS gate-way server. Up till now we have collected
database of blood donors more than 1500 of various blood
groups and it is randomly selection process in web based
software. Whenever anybody send the SMS for blood that
time web based software select the three numbers randomly
and send reply to request mobile number.

23 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

The system also takes care that the contact for one blood
once sent is not sent again for the next three months, giving
the donor time to replenish the blood supply in his/her
system. For this system, 54242 promotional number is hired
and under the main keyword of “Gad” sub keyword are
made blood group wise. These keywords are as follows

 Gad Apositive For A+ve blood donor information

 Gad Anegative For A-ve blood donor information
 Gad Bpositive For B+ve blood donor information
 Gad Bnegative For B-ve blood donor information
 Gad ABpositive For AB+ve blood donor
 Gad ABnegative For AB-ve blood donor information
 Gad Opositive For O+ve blood donor information
 Gad Onegative For O-ve blood donor information
For Ex :
To : 54242
Massege : Gad<Space>Blood Group
like Apositive ,Anegative,
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Registration of Blood and Eye Donor:
For Blood Donor Registration System:

Using this facility the interested blood and eye donors can
register themselves with the system.
For Ex:
To : 54242
Massage Type : Gad<Space>BD<Space>Name of
Blood Group<Space>Mobile Number
This data is connected with blood donor information system.
Blood donor information data is increases as per
registrations of blood donors.

For Eye Donor Registration System:

25 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

For Ex:
To: 54242
Massage Type: Gad<Space>ED<Space>Name of
Donor<space>Mobile Number
Development Tools: For developing these applications
open source platforms have been used making it easy and
affordable for any district to adopt this facility
 PHP open source platform
 MySQL database open source
 Crystal Report 08 for reports
After the successful implementation at district Gadchiroli,
the door is open to replicate it in other districts affected by
the floods. This solution is developed on mobile technology
and open source platforms viz Linux, Development Tools
used are J2EE, MySQL; besides we have used SMS server and
GPRS Modem for massage sending.

26 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

Chapter 4: Project e-Swasthya
This is a comprehensive health care delivery project with
extensive ICT interventions. The central goal of this project is to
bridge the gap that exist in the health care delivery and
monitoring infrastructure in the district. We started with two
talukas of Dhanora and Kurkheda which are also the most
naxalite infested talukas of the Gadchiroli district. The most

27 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

important component of this project was the PDA based
monitoring of the ICDS.
I. PDA based Monitoring of ICDS
PDAs are given to all the AHSA workers and ANMs and they
have to regularly send the medical data regarding the ICDS
beneficiaries to the higher authorities in the Zilla Parishad. A
brief schematic of this project is shown as below-

Modus Operandi- All the PDAs are preloaded with the

customized software, which has all the reporting formats loaded
in the PDA itself. The ASHA workers, takes the data of the ICDS
beneficiary regularly and sends an SMS which is received by the
central server. This server has a central MIS of all the ICDS

28 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

beneficiaries of the project talukas. This data is updated as soon
as the SMS arrives. The District Health Officer of the Zilla Parishad
maintains reports generated by the system.
The system ensures that the accountability is fixed in real time. If
the health status especially the malnutrition status of the child
and mother are not improving, it shows faulty implementation
ICDS. This has drastically improved the implementation of ICDS in
these two talukas
II. MIS- all the children and new mothers were given smart
cards. This smart card stores all the health related
information of the beneficiary. This information is
regularly updated in the MIS which is available online as
well. A screen shot if the web site is as following

The MIS of the individual beneficiary looks like following-

29 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

The MIS thus created is used to generate reports which are used
to track the health status of the ICDS beneficiaries-

30 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

III. VHF GPS Based Tracking of the Ambulances- The
Central Call centre cum Control room has been
established at the District Civil Hospital. It not only tracks
all the ambulances operating in the district but also
allocates the ambulance depending on the proximity of
the ambulance.

As is typical of most of the naxal infested areas, Gadchiroli has

most of its health infrastructure, deep in the dense forests. These
are interior and dangerous zones. No communication provider
comes forward to install their communication infrastructure in
these areas. In past there have been many cases of naxal attacks
and bombings of the mobile towers and telephone exchanges in
Gadchiroli as well as other naxalite zones. Therefore there are no
communication facilities available in the interiors. In this kind of
scenario satellite communication is the only way out. But there
are patches of forests which are so dense that even the satellite

31 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

signals are unable to penetrate the thick canopy of the tree cover.
In such scenario the VHF based GPS offers the solution as it can
be used to track vehicles even inside dense forests. The server
screen looks as following-

The ambulance can be called from across the district at following

Toll free number- 1056
Alternative number- 223060
The services of these ambulances have benefitted the people of
these two talukas immensely. The institutional delivery increased
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to more than 85% and the maternal mortality and the infant
mortality has almost dropped down to zero in two talukas.

Chapter 5: Innovative Use of IT

We understand that IT is not just computerization of departments.
As we have maintained again and again the any IT based
intervention devoid of a human goal will never be a success in
administration. Acting on these lines only we have introduced IT
where it mattered the most. Following two projects will
demonstrate our intentions aptly-
1. IVRS and web based seed and soil testing Information and
assistance system

2. e-Vidya- Computer education and long distance education

using V-Sat facilities in remote and inaccessible locations

Let us have a look at these projects in a little more detail.

IVRS and web based seed and soil testing Information and
assistance system

Gadchiroli is spread over an area of almost 15000 sq kms. From

North to South the distance is around 350 Kms. There is only one
Soil testing laboratory which is located at the district headquarters
in Gadchiroli. For any kind of seed or soil testing the farmers have

33 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

to travel great distances and go through a lot of inconvenience. To
ameliorate this situation we decided to automate the whole
procedure of Soil testing.

The sample of soils are collected by the Agricultural assistants in

the villages and a PNR number is issued to the farmer and affixed
on the soil sample. This sample is then taken to the central soil
testing laboratory. Along with the soil sample a whole lot of
information is taken from the farmer regarding his farming
practices. A user account of the farmer is opened and all the
information relating to him is stored in this account. All this
information is fed into the central database. After testing of the
soil sample the results are uploaded in the user account of the
farmer. The farmer can access these results from anywhere over
the internet or by simply dialing the contact number of the IVRS
based system which is programmed to operate in local languages
like Hindi, Marathi, Madia etc. The website for accessing the
results online is www.seedsoiltesting.com

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This website has been divided into three parts-

1. User Section
2. Administration Section
3. Visitors Section

User Section- in this section a farmer can login using his

username and password and retrieve the information regarding
their soil testing results. This username and password can be
procured either through the administration section or by calling
the landline number 0712-2705738. User Section has following

35 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

i. Registration- this option is used to register the soil testing
sample alongwith the required information. After this form is
submitted online, a PNR number is generated automatically.

The Registration Screen

ii. Registration register- this option is used to view the

registered information

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iii. Search PNR No- this option can be used to search exclusively
a particular PNR if it is known already

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iv. The result screen

v. Result register- this section contains the list of all the farmers
whose soil reports are ready

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vi. Non-Result register- this section contains list of all the
farmers whose results are yet to come.

vii. Create/Edit New/Existing taluka or district- this section is

used to create new taluka or district, or editing the
information about existing taluka or district entered in the
system already

Adminstration Section- this section has the options to manage all

the testing stages viz
39 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,
i. Sample inward- this option is used to enter the information
regarding the soil sample which is received in the lab for

ii. Soil Sample Reading- this option is used to enter the test
results of the soil sample in the system

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iii. Crop Entry- In this section the experts can enter the
recommended NPK fertilizer ratio for a certain crop-soil

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iv.Crop Stage Entry- Which crop needs how much NPK and at
what time intervals, the information regarding this can be
entered here

v. Create User- this section is used for creating new users and
creating username/password for them

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vi.Edit user

vii. Delete user

Besides this web system the mainstay of our soil testing

module is the IVRS based help line. Farmers can get the
information on their test results using their PNR numbers over
the automated helpline by dialing 0712-2705738.

This system works as follows-

• After connecting, for select language please dial
43 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,
• 1 for Marathi
• 2 for Hindi
• 3 for English
• Please dial for getting the information whatever you
• 1 for Soil
• 2 for Seed
• 3 for Krishi Visheyak Salla
• 4 Whether forecast
• After dialing this please enter the PNR number
• After inputting the PNR number, you will get the
telephonic result of particular PNR soil testing
This service has certainly opened new vistas in field of
government service delivery. Right now only soil testing has
become operational but soon seed testing as well weather
information services will also start on the same IVRS module.
Thus it will become a full fledged farmer helpline

44 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

Chapter 6: Innovations in the Existing
This was the portion which heavily depended on the intervention
which was IT based. In this part innovations were made into the
existing procedure without changing them much. Next we see the
measures that required change in existing procedures and
systems. This also involves IT intervention but the formulation of
new systems is more important. Following are such initiatives-
I. Innovations in the Public Distribution System-
Implemented and Proposed
Public Distribution system in Gadchiroli remains ridden with
various problems. Besides the usual problems of pilferage of
the PDS grains, there are unique problems associated with
PDS in Gadchiroli due to inaccessible areas and presence of
TDC as an additional player along with the FCI and the FPS
system. We have taken following steps to improve the PDS
in Gadchiorli
ii. GPS tracking- All the trucks carrying PDS supplies
have been fitted with GPS devices both GSM based as well
as VHF (Very High Frequency) based. These GPS devices
enable tracking of the trucks in real time and provide
information about the delays en route so that possible
causes can be looked into. Generally for the pilferage to
take place the truck has to halt somewhere. With the GPS

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tracking enabled we can know in real time how many times
and where the truck halts.
We have established a control room in the district
headquarters to track the movement of the trucks. The GPS
have been fitted not only on the kerosene trucks as per the
government regulations but have also been fitted on grains
carrying trucks as well. Installing GPS on the PDS trucks is
part of bigger exercise of installing GPS devices on various
types of vehicles like ambulances, vehicles of important
officials, etc.

The tracking is done in real time using the Google Maps

application. We have used VHF based GPS devices because
in large areas of Gadchiroli there is not mobile coverage and
due to dense forests even satellite rays cannot penetrate at

46 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

many points. In such a scenario using VHF based GPS gives
us the power to track vehicles fitted with such GPS device.
iii. SMS based information system- As soon as the
truck leaves the FCI go-down all the concerned people like
the FPS dealer and some eminent persons of the village to
which the truck is destined get the SMS along all the
information about the truck viz its make, registration
number etc. This helps in ensuring the public surveillance
against any theft or other mischief on the part of the
Despite the steps taken at the district there remain lot of
anomalies in the public distribution system. To rectify some of
which we have proposed following modifications in the PDS
b. Mobile ration shop- this concept involves mobile vans
carrying PDS material, and acting as FPS. This initiative
will be really useful for the tribal people living in the
extreme interior of the forest and cannot come to the
nearest Fair Price Shop due to the large distances
c. DWAR POCH for whole district- we have propose to
introduce dwar poch for the whole district
d. Direct supply of grains from FCI godown to the
FPS- this is the most important proposal of all. Till now
as per the FCI systems, the PDS grains come first at the
47 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,
FCI godown. From there are loaded into trucks destined
for various talukas. In talukas they are unloaded and
loaded back into several trucks meant for different
villages. Besides first the truck comes to the taluka HQ
and the trucks from taluka HQ may go back on the
same route to some village which fell on the way of FCI
truck itself.
Due to this duplication of work, FCI spends more in
transportation expenses than in actual procurement or
grains. This situation can be improved if the trucks
leaving FCI godown directly proceed to the FPS in the
villages. This will eliminate the need for unloading and
loading at the taluka go-down. Another option can be
that FCI take over all the go-downs at the taluka level
and all the PDS supply meant for that taluka should
directly come to that taluka instead of first going to the
central FCI go-down. This again results in cost savings.
e. Increase the remuneration for the truckers plying on
the difficult and long routes into the sensitive talukas.

48 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

Chapter 7: Analysis for the purpose of

Simplification of the Procedure- while executing various

procedures we encounter difficulties and to address them the
innovations are made. The spirit behind the innovations that we
have effected in the district of Gadchiroli is to simplify and
demystify the systems. SMS based flood alert system has
simplified the flood management plan. The evacuations become
timely and effective. The single number for all types of
emergencies makes it easier for the citizens to get the relief
through one single window. The GPS tracking of the vehicles viz
49 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,
PDS trucks and ambulances ensures the accountability of their
movement makes the tracking much simpler and more effective.

e-Governance- the technology is just a tool, what matters most

is what we make out of it. Using simple innovations we have
introduced technology at the crucial fault lines in the
administration. The SMS based information system not only helps
citizens in accessing information it also helps in ensuring the
better decision making by the officials. The VHF based GPS
tracking has effectively provided the solution to the lack of mobile
connectivity in large areas of the district. The EGS helpline
provides a very useful service to the MGNREGS in keeping track of
the employment available.

Reduction in unproductive expenditure- By using automated

solutions based on the GSM SMS system, we have reduced lot of
expenditure that was to be incurred in movement of persons to all
the remote areas of the district. The system is powered by the
Solar Panels thereby reducing the cost of electricity in the long
run. The immediate feedback from the Flood sensors has helped
the administration in avoiding costly rehabilitation in the event of
loss of life and property due to floods. By implementing the
proposed innovations in the PDS system we can save hundreds of
crores every year which are spent by the FCI in unnecessary
movement and loading and unloading of its trucks.

50 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,

Making the administration citizen centric- the goal of all
these innovations is to make the administration more citizen
friendly. Due to the immediate response of the disaster
management teams this year hundreds of citizens were saved
from the fury of the floods in the district. Due to the GPS tracking
of the PDS trucks the pilferage of PDS material has reduced. The
SMS based system to track the movement of the trucks further
instills confidence in the citizens regarding the PDS material
destined for their village. The innovations made in MGNREGS in
convergence with FRA have benefitted thousands of families in
reaping the benefits of both the schemes. The facility of Mobile
crèche has enabled the mothers who could not come to work as
they could not leave their children behind.

Following is an analysis as to how our I-District initiative fared on

objective parameters which are important to evaluate its success-

1. Replicable- The innovative practices that we have

mentioned above are meant to be replicated in other
districts. In these projects we have tried to make the existing
systems more efficient on one hand and on the other
creative innovative systems for getting things done. We
have introduced ICT where it mattered the most viz tracking
the vehicles with VHF GPS as GSM/Satellite GPS don’t work
inside the thick jungles; Used the SMS alert system in more
than one ways by using the water sensors not only for flood
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alert but also for the water scarcity alert. And at every step
we have documented each and every step involved in our
innovations, that is why they are so replicable.

2. Easily Implementable- Our innovations are not only simple

in nature but are very easy to implement also. We have put
together available pieces of technology to create customized
solutions to the most basic problems of the administration.
These solutions are easily implementable as they don’t
involve any expensive equipments and the documentation
done by us for implementing this projects will certainly quite

3. Benefits which are measured quantitatively- this year

Gadchiroli witnessed one of the severest floods of all times
as the rains were excessive. Had the newly installed flood
alert not been in place, we could have witnessed a massive
damage of life and property. Due to the alert system, we
could evacuate hundreds of people in time. There are
already thousands of people registered on the blood donor
SMS based information network. And it is just the start. The
initiatives that we have launched are poised to create
sustainable livelihoods for thousands of families in

4. Implementable by all the levels/other departments-

the innovation is not a technology, it’s a fresh way of looking
52 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,
at the problems and by undertaking all the innovative
practices in the district our larger goal is to make sure that
all the departments understand their interlinkages and most
importantly learn to innovate on their own. Our initiatives
are aimed at not only creating innovation centers in the
administrative machinery but in the general public as whole.
Throughout the implementation we have learnt from the
people and provided them with the solution they are asking

5. Direct benefit to the public- these initiatives are aimed at

providing direct benefit to people. The video conferencing
using VSAT technology is benefitting thousands of students
across the district. The SMS based alert system is not only
useful in water level measurement but it can act as a
drought alert as well. The SMS based pumping stations in the
forest going to provide a facility for counting tigers in the
sanctuary. The blood donor information and registration
facility can be God send in times of need, as there is no
blood bank in the district.

6. Successful implementation- the project has seen

implementation of many of its major initiatives but many
more are proposed. And as goes with the innovation, the
more you innovate the more feel like innovating. One out of

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the box solution leads to another and that’s what has been
our experience in the innovative district of Gadchiroli.

54 | Project submitted by Atul Patne, Collector,