Portraying Societal-Geomorphology of a tribal District:NorthwestOdisha; A review

Portraying Societal-Geomorphology of a tribal District:NorthwestOdisha; A review

Siba Prasad Mishra* , PranatiSahoo , Rabi Narayan Nanda , Kamal Kumar Barik , Kumar Chandra Sethi

Department of Civil Engineering, Centurion University of Technology and Management, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Corresponding Author Email: 2sibamishra@gmail.com

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7687826


Sundergarh is a tribal district, and areawise the 2nd largest in Odisha housed in the northwestern plateau climatic zone. The land of aboriginals, minings, coal deposits, forests, and mountainous topography, Mayurbhanj  Odisha emerged to be a Role Model at present. Among the development the forests, extreme events, environment, and water resources are neglected. There is a need to plan for all the neglected sectors.The methodologies applied are searching past literature, visiting the site, downloading image data from satellite imagery, visual interpretation, and imageclassification. The Arc GIS and ERDAS software have been used for image processing and preparation of hill shed, stream, slope, aspect, and contour map of the district. The hitches in various sectors like Water Resources, Mining, forest, climate changes, aboriginals, migration,  and glitches in the social sector areanalyzed. Several townships, mines, and industries have developed at the cost of forests, fertility of the soil, tranquil water, and societal values of the district.Negotiating the demand vs. availability, a strategic plan for the district has been prepared giving weightage to the geo-bio-hydro environment, and sociological and economic factors under the pedagogy of per drop-more crop.


forest, GIS, mines, slope map, water resources

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Odisha; A


Sundergarh (Lat. 21°36′N to 22°32′N and long. 83°32′E to 85°22′E.), previously known as “Sundargarh” is a district (combined areas Gangpur + Bonai) in the northwest part of Odisha state in India. Sundergarh is located at 22.12°N 84.03°E. It has an average elevation of 243 meters. The IbRiver flows along in the north. The district is encompassed by the Raigarh and Jashpur districts of Chhattisgarh towards the North-West, Simdega, and West Singhbhum in the northern district of Jharkhand. Inside the state Keonjhar in the east and towards the south the districts are Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Deogarh, and Angul. The town of Sundergarh is the district headquarters housing Rourkela the largest city.

The Sundargarh district is geographically 9712 km2 which is 6.24% of the area and 4.97 % of the population living in 1762 villages of the state of Odisha. The population of Sundargarh in total is 2080664 consisting of 1061147 males and 1032290 females. Further comprises a total of 1062349 (50.75%) Scheduled Tribes and 1, 91,660 (9.16%) Scheduled Castes.

Out of the 1762 villages within 0 km, 1-4 km, 5-9Km, and 10-14km distances from the main road are nil, 8.39%, 37.45%, 30.70%, and 12.37km respectively. About 56 villages are deprived of electricity, 0.91% use direct surface water sources, and 84.67% of villages do not have any irrigation facilities.218 numbers have no self-help group (mostly organized by women), and 33.66% of villages have kutcha roads. It is necessary to chalk out a plan both short and long-term to achieve the anticipated goals through decentralized planning developments (Sahoo S., Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Odisha, 2020[1]).

Fig 1: The index map of the district Sundergarh, Odisha (Source: GoO)

Review of literature

Odisha State is proud of its mineral deposits such as ores of (bauxite, iron, chrome coal, and manganese) and forest cover in comparison to many Indian states, (Hota et al, 2019[2]).In the first part of the 21st century, mining and deforestation have had a grave impact on geomorphology due to anthropogenic stresses that have deteriorated, the green forests of the backward but princely district of Odisha (Mishra et al, 2022[3]). As climate change prospect, the frequency of warm nights has greater than before, whereas the cold nights have lessened in the NW region of Odisha, Maniar et al., 2019[4],Sundergarh District climatologically counted as hot spot areas for drought, and cyclone moderately, Mohanty et al., 2021[5].

The land use and land cover (LU/LC) changes and climate changes (CC) have a solid impact on both surface and groundwater dynamic forces over the watersheds in the basin, (Tang et al., 2005[6],Mondal et al., 2020[7]). The mines area in Sundergarh is 16.96% of its total geographical area and has iron, manganese, dolomite, and limestone as major minerals and the poorly covered by coal, soap stones, zinc, copper, and lead, (District data, 2016[8]).

The Sundergarh district has utilized its water resources potential in the 20th century are Mandira, Kansabahal, Pitamahal, Talsara, and Sarafgarh as medium Irrigation projects, and Chhetinjore, Gurlijore, Masinanallah, and MunuGaon as minor irrigation period, (Sahu GC, et al., 2008[9]).

The surface air temperature (SAT) intherange of 3.5–4 °C and the increase in rainfall of range 20–35% in the 21st century has brought footprints of climate change effects like an increase in mosquitoes, (Prabhakar et. al., 2019[10], Parihar et al., 2022[11]). ThePhysico-chemical properties of the mine water and industrial areas in the district have a higher level of toxic heavy metals such as Cd content in IB valley (Sahu et al, 2021[9]). The large basins of rivers the Mahanadi (saucer type) and the Bramhani (long sausage shape) carry huge sediment during the high discharges during SW-monsoon that make the mid-basin fertile (Mishra et al, 2017[12]).

Considering floral biodiversity, totally there are 323 species of 133 families and 270 species. They constitute 120 types of trees, 61types of shrubs, 19kinds of climber herbs, and 25 types of grasses.  As regards faunal biodiversity, mammals are 35 in number, 13 reptiles, and 50 numbers of avifauna, (Nayak et al, 2016[13]). Considering the demography of the district 87% of the villages are inhabited by tribals and 10% of villages are in non-tribal areas (Sahoo et al., 2020[9]).

Research gap: 

The literature study reveals that all corners of resources such as mines, industries, forest and migration, hydro-geology, and agriculture have been undertaken by various researchers whereas very less work is taken up towards the plan for effective use of available surface water. There is a need for old/new hydraulic structures, their renovation, and construction. The present research is a Geographical information system (GIS) and digital elevation model (DEM) study of the hill slope, contour, aspect, pour point, flow direction and stream order, etc. The map shall help the water resources managers to chalk out plans for the future micro-scale water resources development of the Sundergarh District.

The objective of the Study:

Various workers from private and government sectors have researched various resources such as industries, mining, urbanization, industrialization, and political/economic strategies of the wealthiest district of NW Odisha.The district has the problem of continuous dust above recommended SPM, Spontaneous and regular fire blazes in overburden (OB) dump areas from mines and industries, and water pollution in the drains, particularly in the BasundharaNallah. There is a marginal gap between the gross command area (GCA), cultivable command area (CCA), and irrigation potential created/ utilized in the Sundergarh district, as per the Sundergarh District report, Government of Odisha (GoO), 2016. For bridging the huge breach, a systematic analysis has been attempted in the present paper through a GIS approach considering the district profile district, climate, soil, LULC, topography, watershed, river system, and drainage anastomosis for effective water resources management and land utilization.


Sundergarh is an open unit with extensive, divergent tracts of expansive forests, isolated peaks, the Bramhani and Ib river basins, and hilly terrain.

Geographic Information System (GIS) has developed as a dominant instrument for the storage, scrutinize, and exhibition of geospatial information and their application in formulating and decision-making processes at state or district-wise water resources (WR) Planning, agriculture sector, groundwater, and many others as the modus operandi is computer oriented which provide big data. The maps are generated from huge stored data, processed, geo-referenced, and finally providing the big data/information to a pictorial form or thematic maps. Migration and immigration are inevitable and associated with societal activities continuing from an ancient civilization. Employment causes shifts, resettlements, and rehabilitation from one place to another for economic growth, livelihood amenities, climate change, biological disasters, (endemics and pandemics), extreme events, and natural disparities, to avoid conflict, terrorism, and/or human rights violations,etc. 

Fig 2: The GIS methodology applied to generate GIS Images

Sundergarh district faced major migration from tribal areas and immigration to the industrial steel city i.e. Rourkela, The methodology applied in the investigation is in fig 2 (Nandi et al., 2014[14]. Barik, KK, 2017[15]).

Political history

Sundergarh, the district headquarter, was the merged states Gangpur and Bonai of Odisha constituted on the 1st of January 1948. True to its name, this district has 43% of its total area under sparse and dense forest cover (4232.57km2) The land of diversity is mining, variant geomorphology of peaks, rivers (IB and Bramhani), and mountainous hilly topography. The aboriginal people of the area mainly Munda, Kisan and live in tribes dotting its landscape and with abundant mining potential. The district has varying undulated landscapes, steep slopes, rapid runoff, erosion, and bald hilltops. The district administration comprises 3subdivisions, 17blocks, 16 Tehsils, and 262GPs. Sundergarh district has a population of 2093437 of which 1061147 are males and 1032290 are females residing in 479109 households. Out of the total population, 64.74% lives in Urban and 35.26% lives in rural areas, (Census India 2011[16]). Out of demographic data of 2.093 million (2011 census), 1.062million (50.72 %) are ST.


Sundergarh has a tropical Savanna climate (Köppen-Geiger scale Aw) with maximum rainfall during SW-monsoon. The average annual temperature is 26.0 °C in Sundergarh and rainfall of about 1230 mm/annum.  The average (av.) monthly uppermost/lowermost relative humidity (RH) is in Aug. (86.13 %) and RH is in April (30.74 %). The average maximum/minimum temperatures are 33.30C and 19.30C respectively.  The av. monthly optimum and minimum rainy days are in August (26.83 days) and in December (1.30 days), (Climate-Data.org > India > Odisha >Sundergarh).

Fig 2: The climatology of the Sundergarh district in Odisha

A tribal district

The demographic census reveals that about 1062349 (50.75%) are Scheduled Tribes (ST), and 191660 (9.16%) are Scheduled Castes (SCs) population. Hence,Sundergarh is one of the tribal districts (tribal > 50%) as per central government of India (GOI) norms, https://www.Censusindia2011.com/odisha/sundargarh-population.html

The mining fabric

As per the department of mines, Odisha, the ores mined and minerals extracted from the topography are Iron Ore, Manganese, Lime Stone, Dolomite, Silica,coal, etc. (Dept. of Mines, Odisha).  The rural areas where these mines are deployed are Kutra, Kuanrmunda, Gurundia, Nuagaon, Rajagangapur, Koida, and Lahunipara. Hemgir, Major iron mines, and manganese quarries are clustered in blocks like Koida, Lahunipada, and Gurundia blocks, (Center of Science &Env. 2018[17]). The Sundergarh district has plenty of iron ore mines and extraction of the ore was 14.24MMT in 2013 and 7.46MMT in 2016, (Mishra et al, 2022[3]). Watershed management is a prerequisite for mine areas (Panda et al 2020[18]). The Ib valley hascoal mines extending about 1460 km2and numerous collieries situated at Basundhara, Rampur, Kulda, Chaturdhara, Garjanbahal,Manoharpur, Siarmal, and Meenakshi. (MCL ecology report, 2015[19]).

The Industrial Hub

The availability of a huge amount of coal has encouraged the growthofmany industries in the Sundergarh district and around. The industrial district houses the Steel Plant (RSP), Fertilizer Plant, Cement factory, Ferro Vanadium Plant, Machine building factory, Glass and china clay factory, and Spinning mills are some of the major industries of this District. The industries are clustered in the areas like Rourkela, Sundergarh, Industrial state, Rajgangpur, Kalugaon, and Mandiakudar. Major built-up industries are Odisha Cements Ltd (OCL), Odisha Industries Ltd, and Hart Fertilizers Ltd. Rourkela, the industrial township in Sundergarh is the government sector plant that was the first to use LD oxygen expertise in India.

The Tourism conglomeration

The district name is Sundergarh (the land of Panorama) which is well justified by its numerous important places both anthropogenic and natural. The anthropogenic architecture of arethe gigantic industrial city, the steel plant, the fertilizer plant, Indira Gandhi Park,theMandira dam (water supply to Steel city), and the zoo are the visiting placesinRourkela. Vedavyasa(the confluence of the holy rivers,theSankha and theKoel), Manikmoda (historic rock paintings inthecaves),  Boating on the river Sankha, the Ghogar,and Darjeeling ( river IB. a picturesque picnic spot),Khandadhar(the towering waterfall of 800m). All these neglected tourist hubs need development to develop tourism in these areas.

The anastomosed drainage system

The Sundergarh district Houses parts of the two large rivers of Odisha i.e., the Mahanadi and the Brahmani. The Koel (Jharkhand) and Sankha (240km, Chhattisgarh) originate from the Plateau of Chhotanagpur and joined at Vedavyasa (Panposh) in Sundergarh district. The South Koel is joining the Sankh tributary name as Koel. There are 45 major tributaries of the Brahmani, of which the important ones are Sankha,  Chandrinalla, KatangamundaNalla, Rukura, on the right side, and Koel, Suidihi, Champalijore, Kuradihi, Amrudi, Korapani, in the left side. The Mahanadi system contributed through tributaries i.e. Ib, Ichha, and Deo rivers.

Water Quality

The water quality of Ibriver (Class-C) due to industrial activities of the stretch in Sundergarh has less impact on the water quality (WQ). The Sankh, Koel, Nandira, Kisindajhor (a tributary of Nandirajhor), and finally the Brahmani river poses Class-A river WQ but below Panposh and Rourkela it is designated as the class-C river. The various Physico-chemical parameters throughout the year are always above the tolerance limit. pH values remain 7.6-8.5, BoD before Vedavyasa is BoD value found as 0.4-1.9. BelowVedavyasa, the BoD was5.3mh/l is greater than the threshold value of 3.0mg/lafter.The water quality of the Brahmani river is above the tolerance limit near townships during the year 2011-2015 (OPCB report 2016[20]).

The Agriculture

The agro-climatic zone of the district lies in the NW plateau zone of India. The agriculture and allied sectors are the main sources of livelihood for more than half of the people of the district of Sundergarh.As per district statistics, the district has 313000Ha gross command area (GCA), of which 52% is upland, 30% medium, and 18% is low land. Growing paddy is the main crop sharing 75%, whereas the assured cropland through irrigation is 24% Kharif and 8% is Rabi respectively. The upper basins of Mahanadi and the Brahmani are erosive and need a catchment treatment plan for better yield from the field, (Mishra et al., 2017[21])


Area wise the 2nd lowest district had rain-fed agriculture during pre-independence. Later the irrigation projects such as Kansabahal, Rukura, Sarafgarh, Pitamahal, Talsara, and I.B. (P) irrigation projects have created potential during Kharif and Rabi Respectively by 83747Ha and   54548Ha by 2020 in the district.The four medium dams catering to irrigation needs (55690Ha0 are mainly through the Kansbahal Irrigation scheme (4218 ha), Sarafgarh Irrigation Scheme (2238 ha), Talsara Irrigation network (3036Ha), and Pitamahal irrigation (2630Ha) with many minor irrigation projects.  Protective irrigation is provided for 19700Ha and 237610 Ha is rain-fed, (PMKSU, Irrigation plan, 2016[22]). The proposed projects under the planning stage by 2010 are Chhetnijore, Gurlijore, Masinanallah, and Runugaon.

Sundergarh has water needs for about 313000 Ha in Kharif and 80586Ha in Rabi period. The crop water and domestic water demand for the district are about 2.976BCM (irrigation), and domestic water demand is 0.117BCM which is obligatory on an annual basis. Deducting the available water of 1.456 BCM from the standing created potential in Sundergarh, the deficient potential is to be created for 1.512BCM of water.  So new water resources projects are to be initiated to cater to the requirement. Coal and other mining with ancillary industrial activities have caused water effluencecategorized by mine drainage, leachates (acid), air, noise, and soilaffectingPhysico-chemical norms with heavy metal contaminants but are not seriously affecting vegetation and agriculture of the area, (Sahoo BP., 2021[23]).

Table 1: The irrigation projects/ dams developed over various drains, and GCA/CCA benefited.

#Name of Irgn. Proj./ DamBasinRiverCatchment area (Km2)Type of dam and reservoirYear of actionPotential available (000’Ha)CCA Created (000’Ha)
1Balidiha ungatedBalidihaPalapala d/c205Masonry ( RCC clad)1912/ 20053.8823.882
2HaladihaHaladihaChipat d/c Local materials19212.43(Kuliana block)
1Pitamahal DamBramhaniPitamahal103.6Earth fill19774.282.65
2Ib DamMahanadiIb5649Composite 145.59106.28
3SarfgarhMahanadiSarfgarh65.3Earth fill1987  
4KanshbahalBramhaniBarajorinallah179Earth fill19807.215.05
5TalasaraMahanadiIb91.0Earth fill19854.3373.036
6RukuraMahanadiRukura Earthfill20185.755.59
7MandiraBramhaniSankh Concrete1993  

Source: http://www.dowrodisha.gov.in/Schemes/IrrigationSchemes.pdf;

The forest cover:

Odisha has a forest cover of 17615.5km2, mostly in the interior districts of the state. The northwestern district, Sundergarh had 19% of its area was under forest, where it was 1492.7sqkm in the year 2019, i.e. 8.47% of the state, partly comprises of Bamara-Gangpur forest range and Hemagiri forest range.TheForest area of the district is 45.38% of the geographical area of the district (51.081% in 2011-12).The forests in the district are of tropical dry deciduous savanna type. Bonai tract has high-quality vegetation with Sal as the dominant species. Previous studies reveal that there is continuous average depletion of forest cover @ 0.7km2/year and the total loss from 2000 was 1327Ha by the year 2019. The maximum loss was during the year 2015 to 2019 which is mainly due to the rise in population, urbanization, mining, migration, and industrialization.


Fig 3: The loss of forest cover of Sundergarh district (2000-2019) (Data: Mishra et al., 2022[3])

The soil of the area

The soil of the district is either red sandy loam soil or clayey loam The soil of the dist. are mainly mixed grey soil (Inceptisols of area 5252.35Km2) or latosols due to the presence of iron mines. The slopes of the total area versus slope are 49 % (0.5%-3%), 25 % (3-8%), 23 % (8-25%) and the rest are more than 25% slope.

Fig 4: The soil map of the Sundergarh district Odisha.

LU/LC changes of Sundergarh

As per the NRSC website, land use and land cover (LULC) are web maps of an expanse that deliver data that help users to have statistical knowledge about the current landscape. It is prepared to monitor spatiotemporal changing aspects of agrarian ecosystems, forest adaptations, watersheds and water bodies, etc. of an area. The LU/LC of Sundergarh shows that the major land occupancy is the forest area (51%). This is followed by land for agricultural activities, with the net sown area being 29% of the total land area LU/LC of the Sundargarh district, the forest cover is 51.1%, Misc. vegetation (2.6%),  Agriculture (29.2%), Pasture (2.7%),  wasteland but cultivable (1.6%),fallow land (3.0), barren and non-cultivable (6.8%) and non-agricultural use (3.0%), (Dist. Irrigation Plan, Sundergarh).

Fig 5: The LU/LC changes in Sundergarh between 2004 & 2019 (source: Mishra et al., 2022[3])

The LU/LC map for the years 2004 and 2019 was prepared and found that the coal mines area increased by 104% (expansion of M/S OCL), the wasteland has increased by 7.91% due to increased industrial and mining activities, increase urbanization by 25%, increase of very dense forest (VDF) by 19.5% (Govt. initiation) whereas there is the decrease in LU areas are medium dense forest and agriculture sector.

The LU/LC map for the years 2004 and 2019 was prepared and found that the coal mines area increased by 104% (expansion of M/S OCL), the wasteland has increased by 7.91% due to increased industrial and mining activities, increase urbanization by 25%, increase of very dense forest (VDF) by 19.5% (Govt. initiation) whereas there is the decrease in LU areas are medium dense forest and agriculture sector (Mishra et al., 2022[3]). 

Watershed model and Hydrology toolset

Watersheds areupslope areas that backthewater flow to concentrate drainage in a channel. These areas aredemarcated from a digital elevation model (DEM) using the soft wares of Hydrology for the toolbox of a spatial analyst.

DEM File: A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is a representation of the bare earth’s topographic surface excluding trees, buildings, and other surface bits and pieces.  DEMs are created from a variety of sources. USGS DEMs used to be derived primarily from topographic maps. Also,DEMscan be generated from high-resolution LIDAR and IfSAR (Alaska only) data.

Procedure: A watershed model has been initiated using the toolsets of Hydrology that convert the model to watershed peripheral polygons.by opening the DEM file on ArcGIS Map. Projection is introduced to a particular area or a map for a better understanding of the coordinates or the location of a map, a projected map is always necessary for an accurate analysis or calculation. After projection the file I extracted the file by using the extraction tool function, extraction by mask from the Spatial analyst tool from Arc toolbox.The addition of the shape file is done after downloading the shape of all the administrative areas from the DIVA-GIS web page to extract and mask out the required district’s shapefile (Fig 6(a) and fig 6 (b).

Fig 6(a). Shapefile boundary of our area of interest; 6 (b) the extracted file of the Sundergarh

The DEM file of Sundergarh District is extracted by using the Extraction tools which allowsforextracting a subclass of cells. They are either the cells’ attributes or their spatial setting from the raster. From the specific locational cell values of an attribute, the point featuresclasses are prepared. It is done using extraction by mask (extract some portions i.e. area of interest from a large file, for a precise study, (Alzaghoul et al., 2021[24], Mishra et al., 2022[25], Lawal et al., 2022[26]).

Fig 7(a): Fill function upon extracted file   Fig 7(a): The flow direction map of Sundergarh Dist.

The Fill tool fills sinks to remove imperfections from the DEM. A Z-limit affects the result of the tool. It is recommended to state the Z-limit if the depths of the sinks are known. The Sink (Spatial Analyst) tool can be used to identify the sinks and their depths before using the Fill tool. When a Z-limit is not specified in the Fill tool window, all sinks, regardless of depth, are filled. The Flow Direction tool is used to determine the direction of movement of water from the respective cell to thesharpest downslope neighbor. The stream flow accumulation tool is used to accumulate flow to each cell, as determined by the accumulated weight of all cells that flow into each downslope cell (fig 7).

Stream order

Stream order is a technique of assigning a numericalmandate to relations in a streamingweb. This order is a system for recognizing and categorisingvarioustypes of drainage networks based on their numericalassigned to the tributaries. Some physiognomies of rivulets can be found by merely knowing their order.This function allows us to find the stream order of the watershed by taking consecutively flow direction and flow accumulation as the inputs. It calculates the stream order of our area of interest (Mishra et al., 2022[27]).

Stream features:

The algorithm used by the Stream to Feature tool. It is designed for the vectorization of stream networks or any other raster representing a raster linear network with known directionality. The tool is optimized to use a direction raster to aid in vector intersecting and adjacent cells. It adapts a raster on behalf of a linear linkage to topographies representing the linear setup. It takes the input stream raster and input flow direction raster and gives output polyline features (fig 8).

Pour point:

The toolset used for delineation to the Pour Points is administered to detect the cells having a high accrued flow zone. Cells having no data (cells with values) are considered pour points, and are cracked, snaps where raster inputs are used. In such cases,a point feature input stipulates the sites of cells be snapped. Pour points are that, where water flows out of the area where usually the exit outlet or the re-entrant locations from the flow accrual. The Pour Point Snapping instrument snaps the ideas to optimize flow cell accrualat a specified distance, (Fig -09).

Fig.8 (a).Stream features Fig. 8(b). Pour points taken in the stream features in Sundergarh

The Watershed and district basin:

The anastomosed drainage networks in the basin are shaped by detecting the pour points at the limits of the exploration window (where rain would pour out of the raster), theyaresinks.They identify the contributing area above every pour point. Thedevice creates a raster delineating all drainage bowls. It creates a basin map by taking the flow direction raster as input and resultsin the map of the drainage basin.

Fig.9 (a):Watershed map of Sundargarh Fig.9(b). Water resources basin of the district

Creating Hill shade map:

The hill shade function of the gadget yields a grayscale 3D depiction of the terrain topography, concerningtherelative position of the sun considering the shading of the imaging10(a). The Hill shading tool is for picturing terrain consequentialfromthe source oflight,theterrain slope, and the aspect of the surface of elevation. It forms shaded relief from the surface raster by seeing the illumination source angle and shadows.

Fig.10(a): The hill shade map of the Sundergarh district 2D (Left) and Fig 10(b); 3D (Right)

A 3D map provides a realistic view of a location that can be utilized by local authorities and planners. In the below, I prepared a 3D map (Fig 10. b) to show the hill shade in 3D view by using the 3D analysis tool from the Arc toolbox and opening in Arc Scene. This function converts the hill shade to a 3D view showing the elevations. After preparing the hill shade map, the next procedure is to convert the hill shade map from raster to tin to prepare a 3D hill shade map.3D mapping allows users to profile objects in three dimensions, providing the latest technical methods for visualization and information acquisition.


The slope tool recognizes the steep gradient at every cell of a raster surface. The lower the slope value shows the flatter the terrain. The higher the slope valueindicatesthe steeper the terrain.

Fig.11(a): The slope map of Sundargarh                      Fig.11(b): The TIN map of the District

. It identifies the gradient of slope or steepness from each cell of the raster. The slope in Fig 11(a).After preparing a slope map in ArcGIS map the next procedure is to convert the map from raster to tin by using the 3D analysis tool from the ArcGIS toolbox.

Raster to tin conversion

Transformingthe raster map to a triangulated irregular network (TIN) is permitted to boostthesurface model by annexing the features, such as streams and roads. They are not signified in the original.Onecantransfigure a raster to a TIN surface by using surface modeling or simplifying the model for visualization.The Raster to TIN geoprocessing instrument is adapted to generate a TIN map from the input raster. The Rasteris converted toaTIN tool doesnotnecessarilydiverge from the rasterasinput(< z-tolerance), fig 11(b).


The Aspect tool ascertains the trackofthe downhill slope faces and signifies the slope direction. The standards of every cell in the yield raster indicate the direction of the compass that the surface faces at that location. It is measured clockwise at0-3600degrees due north, forming a full cycle. Flat expanseswith no downslope are assigned value -1. The aspect recognizes the downslope bearing of the optimal rate of modification in assessment from every cell to its neighboring cell,Fig 12(a). The compass direction shows the aspect of the terrain as per the values of the raster in output.


In the tools of ArcGIS Pro, the software is available for generating contours under the functions of Raster. It is available either by explorationor the Imagery tab (fig12). The selection is either through the imagery tab or by clicking Raster Functions, Fig 12(b).

Fig.12(a).The aspect map showingthedownhill slope faces Fig 12(b).The Contour map of the topographic terrain of Sundargarh

After preparing the Aspect map, the next step is to prepare the contour map from the surface function by using the arc toolbox.


Sundergarh is a mountainous district and plentiful rainfall and water resources focused points and occasionally affected by flash floods, due to topography make heavy destruction to transport and agriculture. There can be reservoirs behind the dams and barrages and water retaining structures yet to be explored. Kansabahal, Rukura, Sarafgarh, Pitamahal, Talsara, and I.B. (P) irrigation projects are the water resources projects that are catering the needs the water demand of the district. Mandira reservoir fulfills the water need of the steel city Rourkela and irrigation through planned LU/LC changes (Stiftung et al., 2020).

Developing Water Resources:

Some old hydraulic structures are existing in the district and some have developed during the 21st century, to mend the water resources need of the people of the district. New dams, barrages, and irrigation projects are to be constructed as given below:

In spite, the maximum cultivated land is deprived of irrigation and not stabilized. There is also a need for planning the hydraulic structures bundling /terracing and vegetative barriers such as mulching, and furrow-based irrigation systems.  There are projects yet to be explored particularly in hill areas and mine clusters. After a study of the nodal points of the anastomosed drainage networks, the projects that can be constructed are in Fig 13:The district has a scheduled tribe constituency and out of seven Assembly Constituencies six are allocated to ST, one is scheduled caste (SC), and the only constituency migrant city Rourkela is general.

The district should have sustainable water development in the district by proper watershed management. It is required to emphasize the tribal community, marginalized and vulnerable group, by initiating multifaceted various viable ingenuities, and converging on multiple progressive determinations, establishing and encouraging innovative practices through government initiatives and Public Private Participation (PMKSY report 2016[29]). 

Fig 13: The prioritized WR project (Bramhani Basin) to cater water demand of Sundergarh

(Source modified: Water Resources Dept. Odisha)

The check dam at Samdama in Chhattisgarh adjacent to Sundergarh may bring apathy to the livelihood of the people of the Sundergarh district (Samuel et al., 2017[30]).

Table: The priority of water resources projects under consideration in Sundergarh District

#Project NameBlock benefitedType structureCatchment area/RiverBenefit; Long/Lat.
A    Mahanadi (Ib) System   
1Ib Dam/Irrigation ProjectKatingdhi/ Bali-sankara/S-Garh Ib River; 5.649 Km106279Ha; 22° 12′ N 84° 06′ E
2GhogarIrrgnProj.Ghogar/ Balisankra/ SundargarhBarrageIB River; Tourist place9980Ha; 22°19’08” N 84° 00′ 21″ E
3Mandira Dam Project from 1959Kansbahal, Water supplyEarth Dam35.38 mSankh RiverLat. 220 16′ N & Long. 840 40′ E.
4Kopsingha barrageRun of the riverIrrigate 488HaTributary of IB riverLat.= 21.68928N and Long. = 85.10332E .
5Kudabhaga BarrageRun of the riverEnhance connectivityTributary of IB river22.069621N/ 84.002 287E
BBrahmani System,    
1Chandrinalla Irrigation ProjectGailo/ Lathikata/ SundergarhDam &IrrgnProj.Tributary to Bramhani R 5000Ha; 220-04′-11″N 840-44′-55″E
2Samaj Irrigation ProjectJamdihi/ Koira/ SundargarhDam &IrrgnProj.2.80Tha3045Ha; 220-00′-00″N 850-07′-35″E
3Suidihi DamDalakudar/ Lathikata,BisraDam &IrrgnProj.2.90THa3233ha; 220-09′-15″N 840-55′-24″E
4Koel BarrageNuagaonBarrage//bridge10.5THaNear vil. Hamirpur
5Karapani Dam Proj. (30.5m high)Barghest/ Lahunipada1312m, earth dam /1210THa3500Ha;210-44′-07″ N / 850-02′-42″E
6Telijore DamTelijore/ Balisankara/S-garh Left of IB  River8200Ha; 22°20′ 32″ N 83° 59′ 38″ E
7KuradihiIrrgn. Proj.Koira 2.70THa 
8BarasuanIrrn.Proj.Bisra 3.00Tha 

Mining strategies in Sundergarh:

The iron, manganese, and other mines are either opencast or underground (UG). Bhadrak and Banpur are the two places of lightning hot spots as per LIS/OTD observations of the TRMM satellite NASA. Odisha watched 2.173million lightning strikes that demanded 5706 fatalities in the last two decades 2000 to 2020, the 2nd highest346 fatalities were from Sundargarh, and Mayurbhanj faced 522deaths, the highest that contradicted 20th-century statistics, The New Indian Express, 30th July 2021. Odisha witnessed deaths of 291 and 287people due to lightning in 2020 and 2021. In the future, the NW districts of Odisha such as Mayurbhanj (highest), Sundergarh (2nd highest), and Keonjhar (3rd highest) lightning-affected districts of Odisha contradict the LIS/OTD observations of the TRMM satellite of NASA (Fig 14). The management of the overburden and tailings should be done through afforestation so that the lightning intensity shall reduce (Mishra SP., 2018).

Fig 14: The future extreme event lightning status of Sundergarh district in Odisha

Augmenting Migration:

Repercussion: the proliferation of migration on compulsion among the vulnerable aboriginal peoples in the Sundergarh district for livelihood has become common.  The innocent jungle folks maintaining simple life intheirnative place at times subjected to human rights violations in towns and their workplaces. There is an instant need for the government to monitor and formulate policies in tribal girdles to control migrations that yield human flaws and distressed slum life, through alternative rural livelihood by planning at the microlevel, (Kujur et al., 2021). It is observed that male particularly teenage group migration is higher than female migration for lively hood, education and during pandemic the immigration is higher than migration. Juvenile delinquency is higher among males than females.

Infrastructural network:

The district is the 2nd largest district in Odisha having a transport network of length 738.1km. The State Highway (SH) is 171.3km, Major District Road (MDR) is 166.606km, and Other District Road ODR) is     400.186km as per Sundergarh dist. R&B portal 2022. NH 143 and NH 520 of 168.01 is running through the district. For economic growth villagers of 1464 villages have no skill/ vocational centers and minimum of 15km away from reach. Out of 744474Ha of geographical area, 138522Ha are yet to be not taken for agricultural use.  The road conditions are better than in other districts still the interconnectivity between hilly tribal villages needs development. The health sector is neglected by 2.0 million people by only about 250 to 300 doctors, (Min. of MSME, 2015, Sahoo et al, 2020).

Enhancing Societal values

It is observed that more number of drug addicts, and child actors but very less incidence of women extorted into violence.  Other socially delinquent categories like street beggars, waste pickers, and street children are increasing with drug addiction. Unhygienic crowdie living, and being deprived of transportation, law, medical assistance, and education are common flaws in the societal values of the district. It is urgently needed to have proper planned management of all the sectors so that the tribal in the hills and the slum dwellers in cities must not be neglected.

Mitigating measures in Mines:

The following curative measures may be adopted to maintain the air, noise, and water quality in the mines and industrial areas of Sundergarh district.

  1. Continuous sprinkling of water on the haul roads, loading/unloading points at regular intervals by fixingauto-start, fine nozzle mounted, time cycle controlled fixed sprinklers
  2. Making the area green by afforestation and developing vegetation. Development of thick greenbelts around the mines, infrastructure sites, and
  3. residential areas besides plantation on both sides of the roads on the surface
  4. using plant species having leaves of high efficacy dust catching nature.
  5. Keep the environment tidy bycleaning road spillages, and dumpyards for OB or tailings.
  6. Adoption of covered transportation.
  7. Regular maintenance of all Heavy Earth Moving Machineries (HEMMs) and other noise-making machinery, drills, etc.
  8. The gas filters for exhausts are to be provided.
  9. Overloading in trucks/dumpersis to be avoided.
  10. Harmless chemical binders on roadsareto be applied.
  11. Well-designed dust extractors/arrestors are to be provided in chimneys, and crushers.
  12. The trawlers, pumps, and vans must have combined heat and thermal power (CHP).

On account of Sundergarh’s forest wealth, mineral resources richness, and the gigantic industrial city, Rourkela. The district is transforming in recent times. The socioeconomic-political status,  scenario, and environmental setup are deteriorating gradually in the epoch of the Anthropocene.


Sundergarh district houses plentiful mines, water resources, forests, urban, and places of tourist interest.To drive and address people’s concerns, grievances and suggestions, there shouldhave Public Private Partnership mode of the solution to reaching a consensus by conducting a joint hearing at various strategic points. A district irrigation plan (DIP) has been prepared to identify the most effective irrigation projects, stabilization of the existing schemes, watershed management framework, and water use applications through participatory irrigation management schemes. Further, it is essential to edify the rural and aboriginal communities about their rights and spawn awareness about health, the biosphere, and the environment. Under the make-in-India concept, train the inhabitants in theirgroundbreaking skills and encourage them by financing them to have  a sustainable livelihood through state-of-the-artof notions and directions


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