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Scientific Publications - Vindhya Bachao | विन्ध्य बचाओ | Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation

Research Paper published on Monitoring Mining Activities in Forest Areas using Geospatial Technology

representative image: gis/mining

Dr. Laxmi Goparaju and Mr. Firoz Ahmad of VENF and Dr. P. Rama Chandra Prasad of IIIT have authored a research paper titled 'Geospatial Technology Perspectives For Mining vis-a-vis Sustainable Forest Ecosystems' in Journal Present Environment and Sustainable Development. The open access article can be accessed on the journal's website here. An excerpt from the abstract and the full paper is also reproduced below:

Forests, the backbone of biogeochemical cycles and life supporting systems, are under severe pressure due to varied anthropogenic activities. Mining activities are one among the major reasons for forest destruction questioning the survivability and sustainability of flora and fauna existing in that area. Thus, monitoring and managing the impact of mining activities on natural resources at regular intervals is necessary to check the status of their depleted conditions, and to take up restoration and conservative measurements. Geospatial technology provides means to identify the impact of different mining operations on forest ecosystems and helps in proposing initiatives for safeguarding the forest environment. In this context, the present study highlights the problems related to mining in forest ecosystems and elucidates how geospatial technology can be employed at various stages of mining activities to achieve a sustainable forest ecosystem. The study collates information from various sources and highlights the role of geospatial technology in mining industries and reclamation process.


 We congratulate the authors.


Research Paper published on mapping Malaria epidemic using Geospatial tools


Mr. Firoz Ahmad and Dr. Laxmi Goparaju of VENF and Dr. Abdul Qayum of Environment Department, Arunachal Pradesh have authored a research paper titled 'Studying Malaria Epidemic for Vulnerability Zones: Multi-Criteria Approach of Geospatial Tools' in Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection. The open access article can be accessed on the journal's website here. An excerpt from the abstract and the full paper is also reproduced below:

Despite serious interventions worldwide, malaria remains a significant cause of global morbidity and mortality. Malaria endemic zones are predominant in the poorest tropical regions of the world, especially in continental Africa and South-Asia. Major Indian population reside in malaria endemic zones which are tribal dominated and inaccessible. Lack of suitable data, reporting and medical facilities in malaria vulnerable regions handicaps the decision makers in taking adequate steps. Natural resources were mapped to establish their possible linkage with malaria incidence and to delineate malaria hotspots using geo-spatial tools.


We congratulate the authors.

Research Paper published on Agroforestry suitability analysis based upon nutrient availability mapping

agroforestry pixabay

Mr. Firoz Ahmad and Dr. Laxmi Goparaju of VENF and Dr. Abdul Qayum of Environment Department, Arunachal Pradesh have authored a research paper titled 'Agroforestry suitability analysis based upon nutrient availability mapping: a GIS based suitability mapping' in American Institute of Mathematical Sciences Agriculture and Food journal. The open access article can be accessed on the journal's website here. An excerpt from the abstract and the full paper is also reproduced below:

Agroforestry has drawn the attention of researchers due to its capacity to reduce the poverty and land degradation, improve food security and mitigate the climate change. However, the progress in promoting agroforestry is held back due to the lack of reliable data sets and appropriate tools to accurately map and to have an adequate decision making system for agroforestry modules. Agroforestry suitability being one special form of land suitability is very pertinent to study in the current times when there is tremendous pressure on the land as it is a limited commodity. The study aims for applying the geo-spatial tools towards visualizing various soil and environmental data to reveal  the  trends  and  interrelationships  and  to  achieve  a  nutrient  availability  and  agroforestry suitability map.


We congratulate the authors. 

Research Paper Published on Spatio-temporal dynamics of Singrauli Mines

Photo: Nigahi Coal Mines, Northern Coal Fields

Mr. Firoz Ahmad and Dr. Laxmi Goparaju of VENHF have published a research paper titled "Spatio-temporal dynamics of mines in Singrauli, India: An analysis using geospatial technology" in 'Journal of Geomatics'. The article is available online for free access on the journal's website. We congratulate the authors The abstract and the full paper is reproduced below:

Forests are at present facing threat because of various reasons. One such reason is the blooming of mining industry. It has many adverse impacts on the forest environment, water resources and wildlife habitat. Evaluation of such impacts time to time and controlling the negative aspects to promote sustainable living would benefit the nation and the people.The present study is an attempt to evaluate the spatial and temporal expansion of mines near Singrauli district (Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh border) since 1976. Amidst the dry tropical forests, the mines are prevalent since  1980sand are now a threat to the health of these forests. Satellite remote sensing data have the potential to observe large areas at regular intervals. Further, in GIS domain, area statistics can be computed which help in quantifying the actual loss or gain in various LULC classes. The temporal datasets for the present case were from Landsat (1976, 2002, 2010 and 2015). After the image processing and classification, the expansion of mines and transformation of various LULC classes were observed. The loss of forests and conversion to other land use was analyzed between different time periods. It was observed that the annual increase in mines area is 4.25 times higher when compared with the period (2010-2015) to (1976-2002). Continuous losses in the annual forest cover was due to increase in the mining area between the study periods (1976-2015) was observed.



Research Paper Published on Land Use Land Cover Analysis of Ranchi


committee ngt kanhar

Mr. Firoz Ahmad and Dr. Laxmi Goparaju of VENF and Dr. Abdul Qayum of Environment Department, Arunachal Pradesh has authored a research paper titled 'LULC analysis of urban spaces using Markov chain predictive model at Ranchi in India' in International Journal 'Spatial Information Research'. The article is also available online through Springer Link here. The abstract of the paper is reproduced below:

Monitoring of land use and land cover (LULC) change is one important drivers of global change, which plays a decisive role on the management and sustainable developmental planning for urban spaces. The study aims to develop series of LULC maps of urban areas of Ranchi, India and was studied during the years 1989 and 2015. It predicts LULC changes using geospatial tools such as remote sensing and GIS. Various satellite imagery datasets such as Landsat TM, ETM+ and Landsat 8 OLI of years 1989, 2002 and 2015 were used to analyze urban LULC, which was later used to predict for 2015 and 2028 using Markov transition matrix and was cross-validated with true LULC of 2015. The urban area growth was found 11% more than the predicted value. Slope map was also generated from digital elevation model and urban expansion in 2015 was 67% and with respect to roads it was 60% within 1 km road buffer in 2015 over 2002. Regression equation was developed over decadal population of 1961–2011 to estimate it for years 1989, 2002, 2015 and 2028. The population has increased 102% in 2015 over 1989. However, Markov predicted 43% more urban expansion for year 2028 over 2015. Coarse resolution temporal satellite data can be effectively harnessed to assess LULC change whereas prediction can be done with accuracy as high as 89.02% based on Markov transition matrix. An effective coordination between governments agencies are solicited to achieve sustainable development to be implemented systematically.

We congratulate the authors.

Research Paper Published on Natural Resource Mapping using LANDSAT, LIDAR and Google Maps

Images from the paper

Mr. Firoz Ahmad and Dr. Laxmi Goparaju of Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation in partnership with Dr. Abdul Quyam of Dept. of Environment, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh has published a research paper on prospects of mapping natural resource based upon Landsat images, LIDAR data sets and Google map in conjugation as a reference map. The authors generated natural resource based maps of rural areas of the USA using the datasets available at USGS Earth explorer and Google Earth to reach the conclusion. The study shows the technique is better than traditional remote sensing analysis. The technique has the capacity to accurately analyze the forest variables at the landscape level and has been found to show more precise and cost effective measurements as compared to the traditional field related studies. At the local level that is at  village level, such data can be harnessed for the betterment of rural people.

The study is published by International Journal of Environmental Sciences & Natural Resources on 27th March, 2017 and is available for free download on the publisher's website here



Research Paper on Analysis of Urban Sprawl Dynamics Using Geospatial Technology In Ranchi City, Jharkhand, India

ranchi study urban

The present study analysed the urban sprawl in Ranchi city, using Landsat data from 1976, 2002 and 2015. The study revealed that the annual urban growth rate was 1.76 ha/yr over the period from 1976 to 2002 whereas the annual growth rate was 2 ha/yr over the period from 2002 to 2015. The northern side of the city has witnessed more expansion in 2002 when compared with the growth in 1976. Increase in urban density was seen at the distances of 3, 4,5,6,7 and 8km between 1976 and 2015 and the rate was higher than 25%. The driving factors of the development were infrastructure, educational and business expansion. Thus, spatial analyses of urban sprawl are a prerequisite for curbing the unplanned urban growth and ensure sustainable living.

Authors- Feroz Ahmed (Department of Remote Sensing, Birla Institute of Technology)and Laxmi Goparaju (Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation)

Access the full paper free of cost here

Research Paper Published on Forest Cover Change in Mirzapur using Remote Sensing and GIS

fc 2010 13 mzp

The present study analysed the changes taking place in land use/ land cover and forest cover using multispectral satellite remote sensing data (LANDSAT TM, 2010, and LANDSAT OLI, 2013) around the Patehra, Danti, Mirzapur and Madihan forest ranges in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Satellite data was visually interpreted to delineate land use and land cover classes. Post classification comparative analysis for both time periods showed agricultural expansion, urbanization and increase in open forests drastically. Further, forest area was extracted from false colour composite (FCC) (using a mask generated from LULC map) and ten forest cover classes were delineated spectrally using digital classification technique. Area statistics were computed and compared for change analysis for the time period 2010-2013). There was a marginal increase in dense mixed forests due to plantation activities, followed by increase in open mixed forest and degraded forest. A remarkable increase in area of grassland and scrubland was also noticed. Rate of change was also quantified. Higher rate of change was observed in case of degraded, fragmented and open scrub, scrubland and grassland. Thus, the forests are getting fragmented at a very fast pace. Results obtained from satellite data analysis can be effectively utilized for monitoring the changes taking place and help in establishing better management practices to conserve these forests.

Authors: Laxmi Goparaju and Debadityo Sinha (Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation)

Full paper can be downloaded free of cost from here

Objections & Suggestions on Draft Notification for Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary Eco-sensitive Zone submitted to MOEFCC-Full Representation

Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in district Mirzapur and Sonbhadra of Uttar Pradesh.The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change published the draft notification for declaration of extent and boundaries for the 1 Km eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary and invited Suggestions and Objections from public within 60 days. The gazette notification was dated 22nd September, 2015, and the MOEFCC websites states it was uploaded on 6th October, 2015.

Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation (Vindhya Bachao Abhiyan) submitted a detailed representation on the shortcomings in the notification and proposed several suggestions. You may download the full report as PDF from here or see

Bird Watcher's Guide for Kaimoor Wildlife Division

Uttar Pradesh Forest Department is all ready to set a world record on 4th December for the largest bird counting event. Bird counting event will be held simultaneously in all forest divisions of Uttar Pradesh. Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation is assisting the Kaimoor Wildlife Division, Mirzapur in organizing the event. Following is the locations identififed for the event in places around Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary. The event will take place between 6 AM and 10 AM in four ranges- Halia, Gurma, Robertsganj and Ghorawal. The exact location is shown in the map below:



You may refer this poster for a reference. Click on the image to download as PDF


Research Paper Published on How Welspun Energy Twiddled its Remote Sensing data for its Mirzapur Thermal Power Plant

Cover Picture


In a recent scientific paper published by Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation (VENHF) in international journal Present Environment and Sustainable Development[click here to view the original paper or click here to download the pdf] the land use classification data submitted by Welspun Energy for the Environmental Appraisal of its controversial 1320 MW coal based thermal power plant is refuted based on remote sensing data. The paper titled 'Geospatial Technology In Environmental Impact Assessments – Retrospective' is authored by VENHF’s scientific advisor Dr. Laxmi Goparaju, who is an expert ecologist and GIS specialist. The article is published in the journal’s October, 2015 edition and discusses in detail the discrepancies in the remote sensing data provided in the

Sloth Bear Habitat & Corridor (1st Survey) Map- Mirzapur

Version 1.2. This map is produced as part of a study on sloth bear habitats and corridor in partnership with WWF India and Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation. The study shows presence of bears in unprotected forests (other than PAs under Wildlife Act, 1972). The areas are identified based on our preliminary survey in the particular forests.Information on Chunar Forest Range is not yet included in this map. A final version of the map will be uploaded soon to be downloaded under free license. We welcome your feedback and comments which can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Comments on Draft Notification on Emission Standards for Coal Based Thermal Power Plants

 [The following is the HTML version of the original report which can be also download as PDF here.]Image

 1st June, 2015

Submitted to

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change,

Govt. of India


Copyright Info:

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 About the Document


The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India has published a draft notification for emission standards for coal based thermal power plant under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986). The said draft notification was made available online on Ministry’s website[1] on May 15th, 2015 for public comments and suggestions. Accordingly, this document proposing suggestions/comments is prepared and being submitted for the Ministry’s perusal and consideration for preparation of the final