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Land Use Pattern mapping using Remote Sensing and GIS in Gangtok area, Sikkim Himalaya, India

Ashok Kumar Sharma, Varun Joshi
Disaster Management Faculty-Sikkim
G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Sikkim Unit
P.O-Gangtok, Post Box-24, Sikkim-737101, India
Email: [email protected]: Phone: +913592237189(O); +91974349228(M)

Surya Parkash
National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), (Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India) 5B, IP Estate, New Delhi-110002

Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi.

This paper discovers the use of satellite images and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for developing a sampling frame stratify the sample based on the analysis of remotely sensed information. The use of GIS and Remote Sensing can be helpful for time saving and efficient land use mapping. Remote sensing provides the essential data to undertake inventory of land, as well as the temporal information required to monitor sustainable land management practices. The study has been carried out at Gangtok area, East District of Sikkim, the total area of study is 30.25 sq. km.

GIS is one such tool accountable for transforming the era of spatial data management. A GIS can be measured as a tool for the integration and analysis of geographically- referenced data. Land and water resources are essential for farming, grazing, forestry, wildlife, tourism, urban development, transport infrastructure, and other environmental functions. The increasing demand for land, coupled with a limitation in its supplies, is a major cause for more conflicts over land use throughout the world. Geographical Information system is one such tool responsible for revolutionizing the era of spatial data management. A GIS can be considered as a tool for the integration and analysis of geographically- referenced data.

The Remote Sensing technology along with GIS is a perfect device to identify, locate and map various types of lands associated with different landform units. Land-use planning is defined as a systematic assessment of land and water potential, alternatives for land use, and the economic and social conditions required to select and adopt the best land-use options. Land-use planning aims at achieving a balance among these goals through the use of information on trade-offs, appropriate technology, and consensus-based decision-making. Effective land-use planning often involves local communities, scientific information on land resources, appropriate technologies, and integrated evaluation of resource use.

GIS approach
Land use planning activities are usually started with the objectives to increase productivity and to improve the sustainability, i.e. to conserve the natural resources. There are various scientific approaches to the goal:

  • Land ability evaluation
  • Procedure and imitation models
  • Process and simulation models
  • Parametric indices

The Gangtok town has been already been facing pressure from all aspects due to rise in population and has little scope for availability of space for infrastructure development. The development of Alternate Township is essential to cope with the future urbanization.

The land use pattern of Sikkim is strongly influenced by the elevation, climate and mountainous terrain, especially in the field of agriculture and forestry. Land is one of the major natural resources. The changes of land use/land cover pattern over a time period control the pressure on land.

Levels and Process
Planning can be at various levels: local, town, district, state, regional, national, and international. A two-way link between these levels is important for successful planning. A bottom-up type of planning starts at the local level and links to the next higher level with active local participation. Local acceptability of the plan is a critical element of a successful plan. A typical planning process involves the following steps:

  • Establishing goals and a baseline
  • Inventorying and organizing resources
  • Analyzing problems;
  • Establishing priorities and alternatives
  • Checking for land suitability
  • Evaluating alternatives and choosing the best option
  • Developing a land-use plan
  • Consulting and implementing the plan
  • Revising the plan

Environmental setting of the Study area
Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim is located in the East District and lies between 27o 17′ 20″ to 27o 21′ 47″ N latitude and 88o 35′ 12″ to 88o 39′ 40″ E longitude. The topography of the study area is highly undulating with hills of 900m to 2400 meters above mean sea level of the Gangtok area. Rani Khola and Rora Chu is important drainage pattern of the area. The present covers an area of approximately 30.25 sq. km.

Figure 1: Panoramic view of study area, Gangtok, Sikkim.

Materials and Methods for Land use classification
The Remote Sensing technology along with GIS is a perfect tool to identify, locate and map various types of lands associated with different landform units. IRS 1D LISS-3 bands 2, 3 and 4, imagery year of 2000, Path and Row =107/052, were used for interpretation of land use/land cover and field study. Individual bands as digital data were import into the image processing system and image registration, noise renewal and enhancement were performed. Separately from making observation on the individual bands, FCC was generated using bands 2, 3 and 4 by transmission blue, green and red combination. After that, interpretations were made on the various land use/land cover classes in the study area by supervised classification method. Land use/land cover map thus prepared was digitized into GIS for more analysis, Using ILWIS 3.1 software. Land use/land cover classes were identified as six categories viz., dense forest, open forest, degraded forest, scrub land, agricultural land and settlements.

Land is one of the main natural resources. Land use analysis was performed using topographic maps and satellite images year 2000 have been image processing keen on and than visual interpolation. Results of the study exposed the existence of urbanization that especially the forestlands in and around Gangtok, bounded in Rani Khola and Rora Chu. The collective GIS and Remote Sensing technology is an excellent tool for monitoring, land use changes as well as settlements, agricultures and forest land changes. The total area of land use categories in the study area showing in following table 1.

Table 1: Landuse/landcover category total area in study area

Figure 2: Graph showing Landuse/landcover of Gangtok area

Figure 3: Landuse/landcover map of Gangtok area.
Authors are thankful to Director, G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development and Executive Director, National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi for their support and encouragement to carry out this work. Disaster Management Faculty thankfully acknowledges the Ministry of Home Affairs (Govt. of India) and NIDM for providing financial support. I also thanks to Dr. A. P. Krishna for sharing knowledge and techniques of application of Remote Sensing and GIS.


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