Impact of Civilized Intervention on the Eco-fitness of Kurseong Municipality, West Bengal, India

Abstract: The high altitude mountain ecosystems are very breakable and susceptible to any kind of changes introduced by human being. The critical balance of such ecosystem has largely been offset by the land use / land cover changes for development purposes. The natural processes are accelerated out of proportion by strong anthropogenic modifications of landscape through clearance of forest for agriculture, settlement, pasturing, mining and quarrying, water resource capturing, road construction etc. to invite hazardous events which have dramatic impact on human property and lives (Das, Chatterjee and Roy, 2011). Thus humans have been instrumental for significant increase in the frequency and magnitude of these hazardous events. An evaluation of civilized intervention on the natural landscape is needed for the mountainous sustainability of an urban landscape, particularly in those urban areas where large volume of population throng together for livelihood. The Kurseong Town occupies the east facing cliff like slope of Senchal- Mahaldiram ridge of the Darjeeling Himalayas that rises steeply from Rinchengtong Khola River Valley (a tributary of the Balason River) from an altitude of 800m, in the east, to an altitude of 2200m to the west. The present study enlightens the echelon of human impacts in causing physical hazards like landslide, soil erosion and social hazards like water scarcity, building congestion, traffic congestion, road accident etc. This study is based on household survey and Global Positioning System aided survey. Dumpy level survey has been carried out for drawing topographic profiles. Satellite images (Wikimapia and LISS-III) have been used to detect the changes in land use pattern. Finally, GIS is used for data analyses and preparation of maps.

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[Rabin Das (2014); Impact of Civilized Intervention on the Eco-fitness of Kurseong Municipality, West Bengal, India Int. J. of Adv. Res. 2 (12). 0] (ISSN 2320-5407).

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