Environmental Geoinformaicts of Fast Growing Himalaya's Foothill Towns and Surrounding: Concept and Implementation
Himalaya foothill zone have fragile geo-environment due to active tectonics and dynamic hydrological process and its associated reshaped geomorphology. Rapid urbanization and development of new colonies leads to high rate of land use change and natural resource degradation since last three decades which has been accumulating the fragility of the area. Consequently entire Himalaya foothill zone requires a comprehensive local level geo-environmental appraisal for effective sustainable development planning of the region. Keep in view this; the Ramnagar Himalayan Foothill area (RHFA) in district Nainital, Uttarakhand (India) has been selected for the case illustration. The main objective of the study was to develop a GIS database on Ramnagar environmental geo-informatics (REGI) to facilitate all the concern line departments to implement their socioeconomic developmental activities in the most suitable and safe places throughout the study area. REGI suggests, although landscape of the study area have few favorable conditions for the inhabitant (i.e. maximum proportion (92 %) of the study area enjoys sub-tropical to sub-temperate climatic conditions, easy approachable, thick vegetation cover, rich water resources) but the active tectonics and dynamic hydrological process and its associated reshaped geomorphology poses a stressed geo-environment which need to be consider to formulate a decision support system (DSS) for sustainable development planning.