R. Chaurasia, Minakshi and P. K. Sharma
Punjab Remote Sensing Centre,
PAU Campus, Ludhiana – 141 004
Concern about the environment has developed from man’s ever-increasing impact on the Earth. The environmental awareness has increased in the last few decades and the need for its systematic monitoring and management is well understood. The advent of satellite remote sensing is a timely technological development in view of the serious pressure on our natural resources. Remote Sensing data provides a wealth of detailed information of a large area of the Earth surface and due to its unique character could be used to access environmental change with better accuracy in less time and expense. The study of the urban environmental change due to population increase, urban area expansion and rapid industrialisation in view of the local climatic condition has been undertaken for Ludhiana through the use of remote sensing data. The remote sensing data IRS-1A diapositive of October 1988 and March 1989 on 1:1M scale of Ludhiana urban area have been analysed using the standard technique to evaluate the various urban land use categories with respect to the population and industrial growth of the area. Suitable management measures have been suggested to check haphazard growth of the air polluting industries coming up in the around the city.
Ecological crisis and environmental degradation are the outcome of the population increase, industrialisation and urbanisation. The study revealed that growth of population of the city is one of the factors that influences our environment. Population growth is experiencing decreasing doubling time, which implies that growth is more than exponential. Population growth from 50,000 to one lakh took about 38 years, while the recent doubling in population in 1997 took only 10 years. Previously the urban area was confined mainly to the south of the Budha Nala with built up land covering an area of about 15.3 sq. km in 1961 and the same was increased to 74 sq. km in 1989. Industrialisation in Ludhiana also increased at rapid rate, at present there are about 3500 registered industrial units in and around the city which is causing pollution of air, water and soil exorbitantly.. The industrial units which are releasing harmful gases in the air are of big concern as they are causing large scale boundary layer environmental pollution. The control of boundary layer pollution requires a scientific planning taking into consideration the local climatic conditions.