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Consequences of Premature Reclamation at Rangabelia - Uttardanga, Gosaba Island, West Bengal

The Indian Sundarbans with a shore length of 130 km is topographically a low lying flat alluvial plain, dissected by a large number of tidal rivers, estuaries and creeks. Gosaba, one of the main deltaic islands in this region, is bounded by Matla to the west and Zhilla rivers to the east. The objective of protecting the agricultural land from salt water flooding has led to the construction of embankments along the channel banks. That has reduced the spill area of rivers leading to in channel siltation and thus the tidal floodplain devoid of silt is always at a lower level than the level of the rivers. The human interference is responsible for the change in behavior of the rivers, as is already seen in Rangabeliya, where the area approaching Uttardanga is becoming narrower day by day. As evident from SOI toposheet of 1969 the distance between rivers Bidya and Gomor near Uttardanga was 0.6 km. This phenomenon was further studied from maps of Google Earth and it was found that the distance has been decreasing from 0.43 km to 0.38 km within a span of 12 years from 2003 2014 at a rate of 0.18 km from the year 1969. The perimeter of Gosaba- Rangabeliya taken together has not changed much. There is every possibility that these two rivers would merge in future leading to the formation of a new island of Uttardanga within an island of Gosaba Rangabeliya. During Aila 2009, the area in between rivers Bidya and Gomor got completely submerged under the saline water when the depth of stagnant water was 1.5m. The present study takes into account this phenomenon in detail. Various measurements were done on maps from Google Earth and SOI toposheet. Land use and land cover classification was done from images from USGS and questionnaire survey has been conducted to collect the perception of different respondents for identification of the problem.



Real Time Impact Factor: Pending

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Keywords: Landuse, Land Cover, Capacity Building, People's Perception

ISSN: 2249-3921

EISSN: 2249-4316


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