Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in India to geotag its 7,368 community kitchens and community shelters across 75 districts, the state government claimed on Monday. According to Sanjay Goyal, the official in charge for COVID-19 relief, the state government also tied up with Google to mark the locations of all these establishments on Google Maps so that people who need food and shelter can find their way to these facilities easily.
“The sudden onset of the COVID-19 lockdown in the country threw normal life out of gear but it was the daily wagers and construction laborers who especially bore the brunt”, said Goyal. According to him, the government has been working with NGOs and religious organizations to establish community kitchens in each of the 75 districts across the state.
However, even as the kitchens started operations, the government had no way of informing people about the locations of these establishments, which is when the state’s IT department turned to the Remote Sensing Applications Centre (RSAC) in Lucknow for a solution. The RSAC, in turn, developed an application with the precise location data (latitudes and longitudes) of all community kitchens and shelter homes across the state.
To make the information accessible for a larger section of society, the government is now working with Google to ensure that the locations of all these centers are included in Google Maps to help guide the needy to the nearest kitchen. According to Goyal, the data regarding all such facilities will go live on Google Maps in the next couple of days.