Geospatial assessment of tourism impact on land environment of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Abstract

India’s tourism industry has emerged as a leading industry with a potential to grow further in the next few decades. Dehradun, one of the famous tourist places in India located in the state of Uttarakhand, attracts tourist from all over the country and abroad. The surge in tourist number paved the way for new infrastructure projects like roads, buildings, and hotels, which in turn affects the topography of the mountainous region. In this study, remote sensing and GIS techniques have been used to assess the impact of tourism on the land environment of Dehradun. Satellite images of the years 1972, 2000, and 2016 were analyzed using object-based image analysis (OBIA) to derive land use and land cover (LULC) and ASTER-DEM (Digital Elevation Model) was used to determine the topography of the study area. LULC classification includes built-up, vegetation, forest, scrub, agriculture, plantation, and water body. The slope of the region was categorized as gentle, moderate, strong, extreme, steep, and very steep. To assess the sprawl of built-up on high terrain land, built-up class of LULC was overlaid on slope classes. The overlay analysis reveals that due to increase in tourism, the land use in terms of the built-up area has been extended from gentle slope to very steep slope. The haphazard construction on the extreme, steep, and very steep slope is prone to landslide and other natural disasters. For this, landslide susceptibility maps have also been generated using multicriteria evaluation (MCE) techniques to prevent haphazard construction and to assist in further planning of Dehradun City. This study suggests that a proper developmental plan of the city is essential which follows the principles of optimum use of land and sustainable tourism.

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Acknowledgements

Authors are thankful to the Director, CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur for providing necessary infrastructure and support to carry out this research study.

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Correspondence to Ritesh Vijay.

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Dey, J., Sakhre, S., Gupta, V. et al. Geospatial assessment of tourism impact on land environment of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Environ Monit Assess 190, 181 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-6535-4

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Keywords

  • GIS
  • Land use/cover
  • DEM
  • OBIA
  • Sustainable tourism