ASSESSING LAND -USE, MISUSE AND ABUSE IN NILGIRIS DISTRICT OF TAMIL NADU USING REMOTE SENSING DATAM. Suguna Devakumari, R. Alex Immanual Jeyasingh, S. Praveena Katharine and S. Carolin Jeeva
The Nilgiri mountain range in south India is an unique ecosystem and of considerable importance to anthropologists, geologists, climatologists, botanists as well as tourists. After the 19 th century the Nilgiris and its popular hill stations emerged as favourite places for rest and recuperation, game and for raising commercial plantations. Land cover refers to the natural vegetative cover types of particular region. Land use is the term that is used to describe human uses of the land or converting natural land cover for agriculture or settlement. The assessment of changes of land use pattern is necessary for estimating the land degradation rate and planning for sustainable land use. In this study the remote sensing data for land cover and land use of Nilgiris district is utilized for assessing the dynamics of land use and classification as use, misuse and abuse of land use pattern for the past decade and it was observed that there is a considerable increase in the built up area and decrease in forest cover in the recent years. The fallow land cover also increased concluding that the abuse (built up) and misuse of the land (fallow land) is in an increasing rate compared to proper usage of land (forest and agriculture).