Jolt From Joshimath – Govts have finally woken up to a hill town being on the brink of an ecological disaster. But more needs to be done

Source: The post is based on the article “Jolt From Joshimath – Govts have finally woken up to a hill town being on the brink of an ecological disaster. But more needs to be done” published in The Times of India on 6th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Disaster and disaster management.

Relevance: About the construction work in the Himalayan region.

News: After protests in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath over deepening cracks in houses, the district administration has halted road and power plant construction works in the vicinity, including the char dham road work.

About the construction work in the Himalayan region

The Garhwal division is among India’s most vulnerable regions. From 1976 to 2022, multiple government committees issued warnings to stop heavy construction activities.

But the state and Centre did not halt the projects. As a result, the 2013 Uttarakhand floods, and last year’s Chamoli disaster were caused by a rock and ice avalanche that killed 200 people in Joshimath’s vicinity and damaged two hydel projects.

Read more: Reasons and Solutions for disaster management in Uttarakhand
What should be done to protect hilly and coastal regions?

Change the development strategy: Before it is too late, the government should change the frequent cave-ins and landslides marring these projects.

Revisit the quality of environmental impact assessment(EIA): For instance, Manipur’s government decided to “revisit” the Imphal-Jiribam rail link’s EIA after a landslide.

Take eco-friendly measures: By halting construction activities the government may dampen economic growth and job creation, but it significantly reduces the dangers of a huge ecological disaster.

Adequate assessment of landslide risks and proper preliminary structural engineering works are required to stabilise subsequent constructions in hilly and coastal regions.

 

Print Friendly and PDF