Study of Urban Land use Dynamics in Srinagar city using Geo-spatial Approach
Rapid urbanization Land use and land cover change has been one of the most obvious drivers of global change over the last few centuries. Changes in land use and land cover can have significant ecosystem consequences such as impacts on global and regional climate and biogeochemical cycles. In this paper, the changes in the land use/land cover and its impact on biodiversity have been monitored over Srinagar city in Kashmir Valley for the period of 31 years (1996-2007). We used Landsat MSS 1976, ETM 2001, 1990 and IKONOS 2007 (Google earth) images, to identify urbanized areas and to quantify urban expansion in the above mentioned city i.e., Srinagar. The results showed that over the 31-year period, the land use and land cover in the study area experienced significant changes. The urban area of the city has increased significantly since the year 1990 till 2007. Since 1976 the built up in the Srinagar city has increased from 8.065 sq. km to 29.23 sq. km in the year 2007. Further analysis showed that there were significant changes in land use pattern, which has resulted in the loss of forest area, open spaces, etc. Our findings conclude that an abrupt shift in land use from ecologically important features to large-scale built up environment, besides Srinagar city became hence. Hence, strict policy measures are required to control the abnormal growth of the city.