Measuring Impacts of Industrial Growth on Forest Land through Remote Sensing in Lumshnong

Eastern Himalayas are strikingly different from their Western counterpart. The east is heavily forested and has a wider variety of flora and fauna, and are home of the largest herbivores of the region – the Asian elephant, the greater one-horned rhinoceros, and the wild water buffalo. This mineral-rich wing of the Himalayas, recorded severe loss of forest cover in the years 2005 to 2011 – a direct impact of industrial and mining activates – thereby resulting in the government to take a closer look. North-Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) was tasked with measuring impact of industrial growth on forest land through remote sensing in Lumshnong.

Being rich in minerals such as limestone, coal, shale, bauxite, and laterite, Lumshnong in the Jainata Hills district in the state of Meghalaya are a natural hotbed for the cement industry. While industrial growth in the region is boosting its economy, the exploitation of natural resources is steadily degrading the environment.

NESAC was already using Hexagon Geospatial software for their remote sensing needs, when they chose to implement ERDAS IMAGINE and IMAGINE Expansion for the study focusing on change detection. Using this combination of products meant faster processing and return on investment:


ERDAS IMAGINE and IMAGINE Extension pack helped NESAC detect changes over the years using multiple tools on an integrated platform. They discovered 1265.36 hectares or 12 square kilometres of forest cover was lost in Lumshnong in the years 2005 to 2011.

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