Sustainable Futures-Vol16n94 cover

Vol no. 16 Issue No. 94

Inside this issue

Disaster Management

GIS for Avalanche Mapping

By: Pratima Pandey and P K Champati Ray

Combining GIS tools with remote sensing data can help in efficient hazard mapping of avalanches in the tectonically active Himalayan regions and save precious lives.

Pre-Earthquake Process and the 2004 Tsunami

By: C P Rajendran

More than a decade after the 2004 Andaman-Sumatra earthquake/tsunami, offshore and deep ocean observation systems now contribute to early tsunami warning efforts in India. The lessons we learnt from this catastrophe taught us to develop better strategies for disaster-preparedness.

Tropical Cyclones Over NIO

By: Jagabandhu Panda and Kasturi Singh

Post 1950, the number of severe tropical cyclones has increased over the North Indian Ocean. Understanding the changes in tropical cyclone activity and improving predictability is essential for issuing accurate warnings to the public.


Land Challenges in Smart Cities

By: Kaushik Dutta and Prasanna Mohanty

India's Smart Cities Mission envisages some developments in terms of infrastructure in several urban centres. However, it ignores to address the problem of land acquisition and land management, without which all change would seem superfluous.

Food Resources and Smart Cities

By: S V R K Prabhakar and G V Ramanjaneyulu

In view of urbanisation in India being accompanied with lifestyle changes that frown on ordinary, nutritious food habits in favour of empty calories, a UNEP funded project seeks to bring in greater awareness on healthy eating and individual carbon footprint for sustainable food production and consumption.

Generic Urbanisation Delhi's Reality

By: Tejbir Singh Rana

In India, urbanisation is increasing at faster rate than necessary infrastructural development. Cities are populated beyond its capacity. Upgradation of Delhi NCR as a smart city may help in sustainable land-use and development.

Expansion Beyond Limit Ahmedabad

By: Ankit Sikarwar and Aparajita Chattopadhyay

Change in land use-land cover (LULC) is a worldwide phenomenon. However, in certain places, the rate of change is expeditious, particularly because of increasing population, huge rural to urban migration and urban growth within a limited space. Ahmedabad is experiencing an unprecedented growth mainly around its periphery.

Climate Change

Falling Oil Prices And India

By: Geo Jos Fernandez

Fluctuation in demand supply equilibrium and inaction of OPEC countries is affecting global oil prices though India’s under-recovery refineries are benefitting from the fall in crude oil price.

Distributed Solar Energy Systems

By: T V Ramachandra and Ganesh Hegde

Decentralised electricity generation or dispersed generation based on renewable energy can be the right solution for power-stressed regions like southern India that receive ample solar insolation for more than 300 days in a year. Smart grid technology, coupled with supportive government policies, can indeed help the region tide over its power problems.

Urban India: Reaching Out to the Sun

By: Rhythm Singh

India has an ambitious National Solar Mission for the accelerated deployment of solar power technologies in the coming years. Rooftop solar photovoltaic is a promising technology for urban areas in India.

Climate Justice and Cop21

By: Arun Kumar Tripathi and Anshu

The developed countries while understanding their historic responsibilities towards climate change should assist the developing countries with technology transfer, mitigation and funding to ensure climate justice.

Water Pollution in River Noyyal

By: Mohanraj R, Somasundaram L and Nishadh KA

River Noyyal, an important tributary of the Cauvery, was a significant source of water in Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode and Karur districts in the 1980s. Since the 1990s, effluent discharge from the dyeing and bleaching units in and around Tiruppur has ecologically damaged the river basin, bringing agriculture to a standstill. Despite judicial intervention and the setting up of common effluent treatment plants, the water quality remains unchanged.


Climate Change and Wheat

By: AK Sikka, BK Kandpal Adlul Islam and SK Dhyani

Over the last two decades, there is a decline in the average yield in wheat production. A close examination of the weather data indicates that this decline may be related to climate change.

Agricultural Biotechnologies

By: Narayan G Hegde

Application of biotechnology in agriculture and husbandry might be the next step to food security in India. Proper infrastructure, technology and market systems are crucial to materialise.

Science and Technology

Coastal Zones: Remote Sensing perspectives

By: Debashis Mitra

A coastal zone is one of the most fragile ecosystems on earth. Managing coastal resources sustainably calls for up-to-date knowledge, cutting edge planning and trained human resources. Satellite remote sensing provides synoptic and unbiased content in a multi-temporal domain that can help planners put suitable management policies in place.

In brief

Editor's Note

India is morphing. A new information-endowed group is emerging, who access online material but rarely assimilates its need or efficacy. Thus, we now have a group of misinformed young people who believe that our lives should mimic the west in every way conceivable. The wave is so strong that not even

Term Power

What is ...

Reinforcement or upgrading of existing structures to become more resistant and resilient to the damaging effects of hazards.

The Richter scale is a 0-10 logarithmic scale, which defines magnitude of an earthquake.

The frequency, intensity, and distribution of earthquakes in a given area.

Landfall is the event of a storm moving over land after being over water. When a waterspout makes landfall it becomes a regular tornado, which can then cause damage inland.

A scale of wind speed based on a visual estimation of the wind's effects, ranging from force 0 (less than 1 knot or 1 km/h, ‘calm’) to force 12 (64 knots or 118 km/h and above, ‘hurricane’).

A scale of wind speed based on a visual estimation of the wind's effects, ranging from force 0 (less than 1 knot or 1 km/h, ‘calm’) to force 12 (64 knots or 118 km/h and above, ‘hurricane’).

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a naturally occurring phenomenon that involves fluctuating ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. The warmer waters essentially slosh, or oscillate, back and forth across the Pacific, much like water in a bath tub.


A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, population imbalance, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality.

Hot or cold mixture of earthen material flowing on the slope of a volcano either during or between volcanic eruptions. The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley.

An aerosol can be defined as a system of solid or liquid particles suspended in air. Aerosols can vary in size and composition. When these particles are sufficiently large, we notice their presence as they scatter and absorb sunlight.

An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, rock fractures or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt) from which groundwater can be extracted using a well.

A biota is the total collection of organisms of a geographic region or a time period, from local geographic scales and instantaneous temporal scales all the way up to whole-planet and whole-timescale.

Water that is saturated or partially saturated with salt and minerals. It was basically used to preserve vegetables, fish, and meat in earlier times. It is also the effluent of desalination plants along the coast, which can pose to be a hazard for oceanic life-forms.