12 Feb A resilient future for Uttarakhand
Why is Uttarakhand vulnerable?
->Uttarakhand is located in the midst of young and unstable mountains which are subjected to intense rainfall.
->The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment Report (2019) -> one-third of the Hindu Kush Himalaya’s glaciers will melt by 2100.
->experts have voiced-> disaster due to climate change + rapid and indiscriminate construction activities which caused subsequent ecological destruction in the region.
->According to the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology-> a rock mass which became unstable due to continuous freeze and thaw action-> led to the creation of a weak zone and fractures-> which led to a collapse that resulted in flash floods.
->large-scale human settlements and unchecked expansion of agricultural activities leading to massive deforestation, destruction of local ecology
->widespread settlements farming + cattle grazing + other anthropogenic activities -> could destroy the natural barriers that control avalanches and floods or other natural crises
->use of explosives in the construction of dams and other infrastructure.
- investment in long-term crisis response mechanisms and resilience solutions to provide required cushion.
- A few immediate steps include:
- investing in resilience planning, especially in flood prevention and rapid response and a stable coordination between agencies.
- climate proofing the infrastructure, use of new science and technological advancement such as
- by applying road stabilisation technologies for fragile road networks
- strengthening existing structures like bridges, culverts and tunnels and other vulnerable infrastructure.
- strengthening embankments with adequate scientific understanding.
- reassessing development of hydropower and other public-private infrastructure
- investment in a robust monitoring + early warning system
- responsible eco- and religious tourism policies with required checks.
- Investment in training and capacity building to educate and empower local communities to act as the first line of defence to prevent and manage risks effectively.