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Research Forum: International Journal of Social

Sciences; ISSN: 2348 4411 (Volume-2, Issue-2)


ISSN: 2347-9272 (Volume-1, Issue-1)

Research Article

April
2014

Problems Caused By Unplanned Development of A Tourist Place:


A Case Study of Lohgad Fort, Pune
Shrikant M. Gabale*
Geoexcellence, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Amod H.Katikar
Geoexcellence, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Abstract

Tourism is the heart of development for any administrative region and thus as important as any other industry.
Tourism plays the crucial role in the development of places where other means of development like agriculture or
industrialization is not very effective. The inflow of foreign currency along with job opportunities forResearch Paper
for IJSS local inhabitants forms the foundation of this development. An effective and well planned development of an
area means good facilities for the tourists packed with good entertainment.
The recent development of one such area, the Lohgad Fort, however, has brought many discrepancies to the notice.
Fort Lohgad is a famous fort near Lonavala,built during the Satvahanasregime and hence has historical importance.
The fort is located on a hill and is surrounded with open junglearea. The population of this area is low and even the
small settlements are dispersed. The location and sparse population make it a valuable and much sought after tourist
spot. But recent unplanned developments have become a threat to the physical, social, economical and environmental
structure of this region. The steps taken in order to develop this region are temporary in nature with absolutely no
coordination between different concerned departments and hence do not fulfill the basic requirements, of both the
tourists as well as local residents. The solution to this problem is 'Integrated Tourism Development Plan' in which all
the concerned departments including Forest Department, Archaeology Department, State Tourism Department and
local Gram Panchayat come together and consider all aspects like geography of the area, its touristcarrying capacity,
needs of the local residents and other issues related to the development of the region and then take necessary
measures accordingly. This paper attempts to bring to notice, the drawbacks of present development schemes and the
advantages of Integrated Tourism Development Plan, so that the monument does not lose its historical stature and
value.
Keywords Tourism, Development, Integrated Tourism Development Plan, Historical
I.
INTRODUCTION
Tourism contributes for the development of any region as equally to the industrial contribution. Tourism plays the crucial
role in the development of places where other means of development like agriculture or industrialization are not very
effective e.g. Malaysia. The inflow of foreign currency along with the employment creation through the means of parallel
income source in the local area forms the foundation of this development. An effective and well planned development
results into good facilities for the tourists along with perfect eco system for the tourism & its development. Currently
there are different types of tourism activities going in India such as.Religious tourism, Historical tourism, Medical
tourism, Ecological tourism, etc.
Many tourist places are fulfilling these activities and are well known for the same e.g. Varanasi (Religious), Agra
(Historical), Western Ghats (Eco Systems), Kerala (Medical Tourism). Western Maharashtra region is famous for Caves
& Hill Forts which were built during 1st - 2nd century and 15th - 17th century respectively. Geographically they belong to
Sahyadri ranges of Western Ghats which carries the best bio diversity amongst them & the same is also declared
as.WORLD HERITAGE site by UNESCO (July 2012). This paper makes an attempt to study the impacts of unplanned
development of Lohgad which is historical hill fort, as a tourist place situated in Pune district of Maharashtra. Thus
environmental impact assessment becomes an integral step in the consideration of any site for a tourism project. The
study is based upon general basic principles & assumption.

II.
AIMS
To study the impact of tourism on Lohgad fort
To study the impact caused by unplanned development of a tourist place
To study the causes of environmental degradation due to unplanned tourism
To study the socio-economic alteration due to tourism
To suggest measures to overcome problems caused by unplanned tourism.

Gabale et al.

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Research Forum: International Journal of Social


Sciences; ISSN: 2348 4411 (Volume-2, Issue-2)
ISSN: 2347-9272 (Volume-1, Issue-1)

Research Article

April
2014

III.
STUDY AREA
Fort Lohgad(18 42 38.40N and 73 28 26.50E) is situated on Sahyadri hill ranges of Western Ghatsat an elevation of
3,450 feet (1,052 m)and is surrounded with open jungle area.It is situated 52km from Pune in western IndiaIt is situated
on a water divide of a Pavana and Indrayani river.The Visapur fort is located on its eastern side. The forest shows semi
evergreen to evergreen plant species. Lohgadwadi is a base village of the fort.
IV.
METHODOLOGY
The field survey was conducted in the study area to observethe physical changes that occur in the region in various fields.
For example changes in built up area, types of built up area, forest area and biotic changes in it, road networks and their
status etc. These parameters are cross checked by map survey using toposheets and Google images, which helps to study
the change detectionby a simple method.Thus study is based upon basic survey principles of data collections to know
he current status of the problem.

Fig. 1 Study Area


The sample survey was conducted in the surrounding villages of study area with the help of Questionnaire. This survey
focused on data collection regarding family structure, occupational status, land holdings, agricultural activities and
villagers opinions on tourism. This data provides the information about the social and economical structure of the area.
The impact of increasing tourism on their lifestyle can be observed with the help of above measures. Local habitants,
hotel owners and farmers are included in this survey for effective results.Tourists and frequent visitors are also
includedin this survey sample for their suggestions regarding the facilities to be made available tothem for fulfilling their
needs as tourists. This survey helped us to know about crucial impact on eco system & major degradation of physical
environment.
V.
IMPACT ON FORT& SURROUNDING REGION
Lohgad fort has a potential to develop as a perfect tourists place because it is surrounded by Karle &Bhaje caves which
are ancient Buddist caves along with a famous hill stationLonavalaandtourists spots like PavanaDam
andAmbeyValley.These are almost equidistant from Pune and Mumbai well connected with Road and Rail facilities. The
study area is accessible from three major routes fromLonavala, Malavali, and Pavana Dam. Due to lack of public
transport, majority of tourists opt for their own vehicles which contribute to air, noise pollution,and congestion of traffic,
ultimately disturbing the overall beauty of nature. Increasing tourism demands for the basic facilities like food and
accommodation and this is provided by the villagers. It also results into forest fires especiallyduring the late winter and
summer caused due to the unawareness of the tourists. The increased tourists population in the region is not supported
by existing facilities. Such additional population& excess utilization of water by tourists results into overburden on
existing water bodies which will result intointense scarcityof water during summer.

Fig. 2 Lohgad Fort Vegetation cover, Plot area and Road Network

Gabale et al.

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Research Forum: International Journal of Social


Sciences; ISSN: 2348 4411 (Volume-2, Issue-2)
ISSN: 2347-9272 (Volume-1, Issue-1)

Research Article

April
2014

VI.
IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT
Microfauna and small floral species are getting disturbed due to increase interference of tourists and losses their habitat.
All the animals are sensitive to the noise pollution and because of this,these animals are also getting disturbed and
shifting their habitat. The forest around the fort mainly contains the semi evergreen to evergreen plant species. But with
changing time and increasing pollution, dry deciduous species are also noticed increasingly. The encroachment of plots,
built-up lands, farms, lodging & boarding facilities in that region is reducing the overall forest area which is kind of
deforestation. This leads to different types of soil weathering in different seasons, losing the soil properties. More use of
ground water, deforestation causes the loss of ground water level. Construction activities disturb / collapse the natural
stream flow, ultimately disturbing water infiltration and stream ecology. Increased demand of land for hotels and
farmhouses will result into deforestation. The degradation of surrounding environment and forests might lead to the loss
of forest, wild life and beauty of the area. Ignorance and lack of awareness at these sites may lead to increased
accumulation of solid waste, increased level of air and water pollution etc. The lands are purchased by the private sectors
from the villagers mainly for the building farm houses. However, there is absence of any authorized sector to look into
this business. The questions remains that, are these lands, agricultural or not?Whether those lands are agricultural or else?
If so are they converted to NA lands? Is it legal to build on those lands? Since the private sectors are included in this, it is
difficult to get the authorized information about this land business. Perhaps no one is interested to check the impact on
resources such as land, soil, water, electricity, etc.are some of those which affected the most.
Very large number of species of invertebrates, especially insects, has been described from this undisturbed area. We
came across many interesting species of plant-bugs and beetles from these forests. Other insects and snails are also
diverse in this area. Insects and plants are dependent on each other and often these interactions are very species-specific.
So, decline in local population of one species of plant influences the population of insects dependent on it. Such
interesting insect-plant associations can be seen in a tortoise beetle which completes its life cycle exclusively on a herb
called Cucurma or in longicorn beetles which feed on wood of particular trees or in plant-bugs which lay their eggs and
grow their nymphs (young forms) on very specific plants. So these insects are very plant specific and if their host plants
die off due to deforestation or pollution, there are very less chances for these unique faunal elements to survive and
thrive.
VII.
IMPACT ON SOCIAL STRUCTURE
The highly variable lifestyles of tourists create the cultural consequences in the region.The unplanned cash flows for
villagers from the tourists are not socially good despite since, they are not still benefited by other facilities except the
employment.Due to increase in the numbers of tourists, the local habitants life is totally depended on them & they have
to play to the tune of tourist ignoring their own work culture & ethics thusdisturbing their traditional lifestyle.Many
people are in the process of shifting their occupation from farming to hospitality which will ultimately result into loss of
nations agro based economy. As they are not opting for agriculture they are depending upon external supply of grains
which they were cultivating earlier. Cultural differences between tourists and them also lead to these consequences.
Forest department goes beneficial for the private sector but at the same time they have been banning living rights of the
villagers.
VIII.
CONCLUSION
The environmental carrying capacity can withstand considerable tourism growth provided it is carefully planned and
managed.The same is not possible in the havoc way happening right now with uncontrollable parameters as regards to
time, place, manpower, resources& overall economic development.It shows that the intrusion exerting the pressure on the
natural cycle of the native ecosystem, due to which, the elements of that ecosystems succeeding to degradation of their
own at higher scale. Not only the living but also nonliving components are affecting seriously. For example open jungle
at that time degrading to the scrub or thorny forest. The unintended development withdraws the probabilities of providing
the facilities equally in an area.
Undefined planning leads to future crisis of the homegrown resources. Planning should be done incorporation with
Department of Forest, Department of Archeology, Department of Revenue, Department of Planning and Gram Panchayat
for sustainable growth in tourism without changing the social culture, environment of the area
IX.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author would like to thank Mr. Prasad Pawar, Mr.ShrirajJakhalekar and Mr. BaluDhakol, for their contribution in
media coverage, biological inputs and local information with their continuous support and valuable inputs during this
work.
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Research Forum: International Journal of Social


Sciences; ISSN: 2348 4411 (Volume-2, Issue-2)
ISSN: 2347-9272 (Volume-1, Issue-1)
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