The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-8
23 Dec 2014
 | 23 Dec 2014

Reduction of livelihood risk for river bank erosion affected villagers

S. Sen Majumder, D. M. Fox, S. Chakrabari, and G. Bhandari

Keywords: Livelihood risk, Re-emerged plots, Cadastral maps, Spatial adjustment tool, Automatic digitization, Projective tranformation

Abstract. Bank erosion process of the Ganga River created a serious livelihood risk for the villagers situated on left bank of the river in Malda district of the State of West Bengal, India since last four decades. Due to the erosion of agriculture land by the river, most of the villagers having agriculture as their only means of livelihood became jobless suddenly. Presently they are living in a miserable condition. One of the main objectives of this paper is to find out an alternative means of livelihood for the victims to improve their miserable socio-economic condition.

It has been found from field survey that some erosion affected villagers have started to live and practice agriculture temporarily on the riverine islands (large and stable since thirteen years) as these islands have very fertile soil. If the re-emerged land plots can again be demarcated on the newly formed islands and distributed among the landless people to practice agriculture over there, then it will be a useful alternative livelihood strategy for the victims. The demarcation of re-emerged plots can be achieved by georeferencing the cadastral maps and then overlaying the plots on the present river course. In the present study area geo-referencing process of the cadastral maps became a serious issue as the study area has been very dynamic in terms of land cover and land use. Most of the villages were lost into the river course. Thus the common permanent features, required for geo-referencing, shown in the cadastral maps (surveyed during 1954–1962) were not found in the present satellite images. The second important objective of the present study is to develop a proper methodology for geo-referencing the cadastral maps of this area. The Spatial Adjustment Transformation and Automatic Digitization tools of Arc GIS were used to prepare geo-referenced plot maps. In Projective Transformation method the geometrically corrected block maps having village boundaries were used as source file. Then the georeferenced plot maps were overlaid on the present river course and the plots covered by islands or lands were extracted. For e.g., Gopalpur village contains nearly 29% of its total area as riverine island and 36% of total plots are covered by this island area. These plots can be distributed to the land less people so that they can utilize it and reduce their livelihood risk in future.