India' Silicon Valley - Bengaluru - is fast losing its green cover with urbanisation having risen by 125 per cent between 2000 and 2014, researchers at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) claimed.
Rapidly urbanising at a pace of 4.6 per cent, Greater Bengaluru has witnessed a decline of vegetation and water bodies by 62 and 85 per cent respectively in this period.
The study was carried out using remote sensing data through Landsat satellites to explore spatial patterns of land use changes and have found interesting and alarming patterns.
The IISc team studied data of Greater Bengaluru from 1999 to 2014 and used software to analyse the land use patterns and understand the change in urban cover.
The land use classification was algorithmically computed and categorised as urban (buildings, roads and paved surfaces), vegetation (parks, botanical gardens and grass lands such as golf course), water bodies (lakes, sewage treatment tanks) and others (play grounds, quarry regions and barren land).
The study found that during this time, urban land use - for buildings, roads, - had increased by 184 per cent, while vegetation had decreased from 45 per cent to a mere 8.4 per cent. The water bodies also diminished to a mere 0.74 per cent - a drastic reduction of 85 per cent.
"The results also show a tendency of dispersed growth in all directions. This phenomenon is most prominent in North West and South West directions," the research stated.
This work, titled 'Spatial Patterns of Urban Growth with Globalisation in India's Silicon Valley', was published in the Proceedings of National Conference on Open Source GIS: Opportunities and Challenges, and was awarded the best paper award.
"Bengaluru has become a land of opportunities and growing ideas for various job markets. There has been an extreme growth in the industrial sector (IT sector) in last couple of years and migration of people to these places for housing and work has brought severe pressure on the environment."
"Further, we lack efficient transportation and thus we see people craving to stay close to their workplace adding to dependency on private vehicles," said Aithal, a post-doctoral research scholar at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, (IISc), one of the members of the team, which carried out the research.