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Urban Development And The Desertification Of Bangalore

6806 words - 27 pages

Introduction:

Bangalore, the city growing fastest in Asia and 5th largest city, in India, has a decade population growth rate of 39% (87,49,944 populations) as per 2011 census (Source: census of India). The average annual total rainfall is about 931 mm with about 60 rainy days (Source: Indian Meteorological Department). The city enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year. Its tree lined avenues, parks and abundant greenery have made Bangalore the ’Garden City’ of India; situated at an altitude of 920 m above mean sea level. Bangalore enjoys a salubrious climate all round the year as the summer temperature ranges from 18° C to 38° C while the winter temperature ranges from 12° C to 25° C (Santosh Kr. Singh, 2009; Sudhira, Ramachandra, & Bala Subrahmanya, 2007).

The settlements around the city have a recorded history that dates at least as far back as the 5th century. Urban settlements made their first appearance only in the 16th century by establishing Bangalore as the capital of the local king Kempe Gowda’s kingdom. Long term discharge of untreated domestic and industrial waste waters, storm water runoff, accidental spills and direct solid waste dumping influenced the urban aquatic ecosystems (Harini Nagendra, 2010; Jumbe Aboud & Nandini, 2010).

Local people maintained the lakes as the common property and each one of them enjoyed its resources. The structure of lakes depended on the water requirement, rainfall, catchment area and material used for construction. Lakes has formed by constructing dams along the natural valley system. The height of dams depended on the material used for construction. Dams constructed up to 3 meters height with of earth work. Stone embedded earth work dams have constructed for heights from 3 to 8 meters, and dams above 8 meters of height were masonry constructions. The depth and area of the lakes were proportional to the slope. Eastern Bangalore has a gentle slope in this region the lakes are shallower and larger whereas in the western side of Bangalore because of steep slope the lakes are deeper and smaller.

Perennial lakes in every village supported the livelihood. Many small lakes also constructed on the high grounds and near the agricultural fields. The lakes in the high grounds used to recharge the ground water and reduce the surface runoff and erosion. The lakes in agricultural fields supported the crops and animal husbandry. The catchment area of each lake was forest and grazing lands at higher altitudes and devoid of settlements. The silts of the lakes have used as the fertile soil in agricultural fields.

Unplanned development, population growth, urbanization and economic development have set the stage for environmental and social problems in modern cities. Though urban areas cover only 3% of the earth’s land surface, their ecological footprint is much more extensive (Herold, Goldstein, & Clarke, 2003; Liu & Lathrop, 2002; Mahdi Sabet Sarvestani, Latif Ibrahim, & Kanarogolu, 2011; Mehdi Fazelbeygi &...

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