Duration:  March 2017- March 2020 (Ongoing)

Supported by: Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) under National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) programme

The project work involved field level surveys, stakeholder consultations, data procurement & analysis to assess the impacts of urbanisation on natural ecosystems in Shillong and Gangtok. Worldview 2/3 images were procured for both the project cities. Building Footprint maps and Road Network maps for Shillong and Gangtok were made.  Also Land Use/Land Cover for Gangtok was made.

Primary surveys were carried out in both the cities to assess the impact of urbanization on natural ecosystems, with a view to assess the role of urbanization on the mass hazard vulnerability. Urbanization induced vulnerable areas were identified through surveys. GPS co-ordinates of such disaster-affected areas were recorded.

A research paper on “Disaster Resilience Assessment in Himalayan Cities” was prepared and submitted to NMHS secretariat. The paper provided recommendations for enhancing the disaster resilience of IHR (Indian Himalayan Region) cities.

Ward level maps were developed for both Shillong and Gangtok (1:4000 scale). Primary household surveys in the project cities for assessing the impact of urbanization on natural ecosystems, have been carried out. Secondary data and information have been collected from the urban local bodies and government departments, including on solid waste management reports, earthquake inventory, AWS (Automated Weather 

Stations) inventory, maps etc. Disaster resilience action plan for Gangtok and Shillong and an Urban Vulnerability Index for Shillong are being developed. The following Maps were developed for Shillong and Gangtok at the ward level:

  1. Critical Infrastructure maps
  2. Building footprint maps
  3. Building density maps
  4. Road network maps
  5. Road density maps
  6. Slope maps
  1. Drainage maps
  2. Drainage density maps
  3. Aspect maps
  4. Lineament buffer maps
  5. Inventory buffer maps
  6. Elevation maps
  1. Land use and land cover maps
  2. Landslide hazard zonation maps
  3. Landslide inventory maps
  4. Potential areas susceptible to flash flood
  5. Inundation depth map
  6. Site Response of Earthquake

Satellite imageries have been used to assess the impact of urbanization on the natural ecosystem in the last 30 years in Shillong. Compared to 1989, the built-up area in 1999 increased by a drastic 13%, followed by 1% for 2009, and 3% for 2019. The analysis shows that during the last forty years, the built-up area increased by a significant 17%, taking up the area under the vegetation cover which decreased by the same percentage. It was observed that the Southern and the Eastern part of the city had a much longer increase in the built-up areas. According to the analysis, Ward nos. 1,2,5,8,22,23,26 and 27 have shown more than 50% increase in the built-up area over the last 40 years.