Volume 5, Issue 1, February 2016, Page: 13-18
Livelihood Dynamics as a Response to Natural Hazards: A Case Study of Selected Places of Basanti and Gosaba Blocks, West Bengal
Karabi Das, Department of Geography, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India
Kanailal Das, Department of Geography and Environment Management, Vidyasagar University, West Midnapore, India
Received: Jan. 22, 2016;       Accepted: Feb. 1, 2016;       Published: Feb. 14, 2016
DOI: 10.11648/      View  4821      Downloads  187
The Indian Sundarban 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. The reclamation activity in the islands of Sundarbans for resource generation and resource consumption was accentuated in the latter half of the 19th century replacing mangroves by the Colonial Government of India. The premature reclamation was done by raising embankments all along the river banks which has reduced the spill areas of rivers leading to in channel siltation. Thus the tidal floodplain, devoid of silt is always at a lower level than the water level of the rivers. Moreover the creeks of Sundarban are severed from their freshwater upland sources and record increase in salinity. Comparison of data of 1984 and that of 2001 shows drastic increase in the salinity of the outer estuary (26 ppt to 36.2 ppt) and that of mid estuary from 20 ppt to 26 ppt for summer of the eastern sector. (Chand et al, R. K Trivedi, S. K. Dubey and M. M. Beg, 2012) Ref [4]. The study area comprising of places Hogolduri, Kalahazra, Katrakhali, Bagulakhali, Chunakhali, Parbatipur, Masjidbati of Basanti block and Sambhunagar of Gosaba block of West Bengal, India are highly vulnerable to hazards and disasters like tropical cyclones, embankment breaching and subsequent salt water incursion. This has led to occupational shift as agricultural lands are transformed to aquaculture farms. This paper takes into account this budding problem over the years and studies the livelihood pattern of the study area. Survey Of India toposheets of 1969 (79 B/12, 79 B/15 and 79 B/16) followed by satellite images (LANDSAT 4, 5 and LANDSAT 7, Path – 138, Row – 45, from USGS Earth Explorer) and Google Earth imageries have been used. Questionnaire surveys have also been conducted. It has been found that the area of aquaculture farms have been increasing at the cost of agricultural lands. Since the transformation of agricultural lands to aquaculture farms is permanent and the people need to adapt to this transformation, it is highly recommended to run the aquaculture farms on a co – operative basis so that the profits will be distributed among the stakeholders according to their share of land.
Embankment Breaching, Cyclones, Aquaculture, Saltwater Incursion
To cite this article
Karabi Das, Kanailal Das, Livelihood Dynamics as a Response to Natural Hazards: A Case Study of Selected Places of Basanti and Gosaba Blocks, West Bengal, Earth Sciences. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2016, pp. 13-18. doi: 10.11648/
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