Urbanisation has affected all geographical regions with variable impacts but it challenges sustainability in ecologically sensitive locales. In the Indian context, small towns have been expanding more rapidly than large metros. With this background, small towns located in ecologically sensitive regions are the focus of the present study. This research is an attempt to assess the ecological crisis in Mirik town which is ecologically sensitive due to the location of the Darjiling Himalayas of West Bengal, India. Urban ecology is a constantly evolving discipline that can help us to identify and face the challenges that an increasing urbanization will impose on essential ecological systems, locally and globally.
The Himalayan and Sub-Himalayan region constitutes a rich ecological heritage of the country. The urban regions of the ecological zone have evolved historically for tourism demands of the population. The exquisite beauty and rich biodiversity attracts a large number of domestic and international tourists and the pressures of this tourist flow falls directly upon the small towns which host them. Development of transport and communication networks, nodal point location for business network, rapid growth of population, influx due to illegal immigration, rapid growth of hotels and expansion of the transport sector to cater to tourists, have created pressures upon the ecological capacities of this town.
The changes in the ecological parameters of Mirik town have never been studied in a holistic manner. This study is an attempt to assess the ecological crisis through analysis of primary and secondary data. Landcover-landuse maps reveal the initial level of degradation followed by the status of ecological degradation and the rate of urban ecological degradation through assessment of urban ecological footprints and carbon footprints.
|Author Name||Bappaditya Biswas|
|About the Authors||
Dr. Bappaditya Biswas grew up in Narendrapur, Kolkata. He is a Geographer and Town Planner. He Studied in University of Calcutta (B.Sc, M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Geography) and IIEST Shibpur (Master of Town and Regional Planning). Dr. Biswas has been associated with teaching over a decade. He started his career as an assistant professor of geography in Mirik College, Darjeeling from 2010 to 2017 and since 2017 he has been teaching at Bangabasi College, Kolkata.
Dr. Biswas focus on teaching as well as research. His research interest includes Urban Geography, Regional Planning, Urban Ecology, Urban Heritage and Population Studies. He published so many papers in different reputed journals. He is a life time member of Region Science association International, Regional Science Association India, Institute of Town Planners in India, Himalayan Samikha Parisod and also a member of Geographical Society of India. Beside teaching and research Dr. Biswas loves trekking and deep affection to photography.