Shimla, October 6
Himachal has the second highest susceptibility to landslides after Arunachal Pradesh in the country with 17,102 recorded landslides, necessitating the need for having an early-warning system.
“Himachal has 26 per cent high susceptibility to landslides. Out of total 87,230 landslides recorded in India, 17,102 were in Himachal. Moreover, around 25 per cent of the total landslides in the country get reactivated,” said Dr Harish Bahuguna, Deputy Director General (Geotechnical and Geohazard Management) Geological Survey of India (GSI).
Bahuguna said Chamba with 42.86 per cent and Kinnaur with 39.93 per cent remain the most vulnerable districts in Himachal as per the GSI Landslide Susceptibility Mapping of India. The other most vulnerable districts include Kullu (24.30 per cent), Lahaul-Spiti (22.32 per cent), Kangra (21.88 per cent), Sirmaur (17.22 per cent) and Shimla (14.95 per cent).
Sharing details of the Landslide Susceptibility Mapping, he said 42,093 sq km area in Himachal has high landslide susceptibility. Chamba, Kinnaur, Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti and Kangra were the most vulnerable districts.
Uttarakhand has 22 per cent high susceptibility to landslides and the state has witnessed 14,780 landslides, affecting 39,000 sq km area. The highest number of landslides in India were in Arunachal Pradesh, followed by Himachal, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur and West Bengal.
“Soil investigation must be undertaken before any construction activity. Any such activity must be avoided at over 45° slope,” said Prof AK Mahajan from Central University, Kangra.
Development must be discouraged or regulated in landslide-prone areas that could be used as open recreational spaces and parks, he added.
A major landslide took place at Kotrupi in Mandi district on the night of August 13, 2017. Forty persons aboard a Chamba-Manali bus and six aboard a Manali-Katra bus were buried alive. Many other persons travelling by other vehicles were also killed.
Kinnaur district also remains highly vulnerable to landslide. Nigulsari, Ribba, Morang, Raksham, Garam Pani, Khargola, Purbani, Ralli, Kupa, Pagala Nullah and Rispa sites are also being examined by experts.
Bahuguna emphasised the need to undertake landslide susceptibility and hazard mapping, post-disaster studies and awareness campaigns, besides creating a landslide inventory and related maps.
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