[Answered] Differentiate the causes of landslides in the Himalayan region and Western Ghats.

Landslides are the movement of mass of debris, earth or rock, sliding down under the effect of gravity. Landslides are a common problem across the Himalayas and Western Ghats. However, the factors for the two differ, as seen in the following table:  

Western Ghats  Himalayan region  
  1. Heavy mining activities in the western ghat region is a major factor leading to landslides.  
  2. Deforestation for settlements and cutting for road construction.  
  3. Anthropogenic activities gave rise to anomalous slopes, and due to gravitational pull and rain, the overlying material comes down.  
  4. Concentration of heavy rainfall in concentrated areas. 
  5. Windmill projects have led to huge fractures on the mountains, loosening structures. 
  6. For example, Ratnagiri, Satara, Idduki etc. 

   

  1. Himalayas are young, fragile mountains still growing, hence susceptible to natural landslides.  
  2. The sediments in the mountains are not consolidated, and are loose.  
  3. There is tectonic activity, with the plate moving up which causes instability; hence the landslides can also occur during the dry seasons.  
  4. The steep and sharp slope in the Himalayas are major factors for the landslides in the region.  
  5. Anthropogenic factors in Himalayas include, jhum cultivation, deforestation etc., leading to landslides.  
  6. For example, Almora, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag etc.  

Landslide as a challenge has grown in the recent years, due to anthropogenic activitiesIn this light, along with sustainable development policies, indigenous knowledge should be leveraged. Construction in eco-sensitive zones need to be checkedRecommendations of Kasturirangan/ Madhav Gadgil reports and guidelines of NDMA on landslides need to be followed. 

 

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