Chamoli, Rudraprayag most prone to landslides: ISRO

The latest report of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has raised concerns over the threat of landslides in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts.

Published: 08th March 2023 07:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2023 07:36 AM   |  A+A-

The Rudraprayag-Gaurikund highway snaking around the hills of Uttarakhand are treacherous even for local drivers. Retrieval crews take more than a week to recover the remains of a wreckage. I (Vikram Sharma | EPS)

In this representational image, the Rudraprayag-Gaurikund highway is seen. (Vikram Sharma | EPS)

Express News Service

The latest report of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has raised concerns over the threat of landslides in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts. This is the second ISRO report after January this year that said that the entire Joshimath town could sink due to land subsidence.

The grim prospects for Chamoli and Rudraprayag are revealed in the recently released landslide map report of ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC). The report analyses landslide risks across the hill state. The report says all 13 districts of Uttarakhand are among the 147 most landslide-affected districts in the country. Among them, Chamoli ranks 19th in the country in terms of landslide risk. Rudraprayag is most vulnerable to landslides in the country and Tehri ranks second among the 10 most vulnerable districts in the country in terms of landslide risk.

Dr DP Dobhal, former scientist at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, told this newspaper: “The entire Himalayan region is vulnerable to landslides. There should be a detailed study based on this NRSC report with a prognosis on factors such as the actual damage from landslides and population.

“This can help policy regulators to decide what kind of planning they have to make,” said Dobhal.

According to the report, all 13 districts of Uttarakhand are among the 147 most landslide-affected districts. Among them, Chamoli district ranks 19th in the country in terms of landslide risk.

Significantly, Joshimath town of Chamoli district is already in the grip of landslides.

Scientists are technically in vestigating it and sensing the danger. However, reports of satellite images show that Uttarkashi ranks 21st in the country. Pauri Garhwal has been ranked 23rd and Dehradun district 29th.

The report also highlights that “Rudraprayag is the district with the highest landslide density in the country. That means this district is most at risk of social and economic damage from landslides. The situation is similar in Tehri district.

Both these districts are geographically smaller than the other districts. Even in this sense, the landslide density has appeared larger, said Dobhal.

According to NRSC report, 11 out of 12 districts in Himachal Pradesh are reported to be sensitive. The NRSC’s landslide risk analysis covers 11 districts of that state among 147 districts. Mandi district is the most vulnerable to landslides in that state. The rank of this district in the country is 16th.

Hamirpur is ranked 25th, Bilaspur 30th, Chamba 32nd, Solan 37th, Kinnaur 46th, Kullu 57th, Shimla 61st, Una 70th, Siroumar 88th and Lahaul Spiti at 126th place.

The ISRO report says that 14 districts of J&K are included in the list of landslide-risk-sensitive districts. Among them, Rajouri is the fourth most landslide-affected district in the country and Poonch is the sixth most affected district.



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