Friday, June 7, 2013

About Dams .... and landslides.

Recently two interesting articles have appeared about dams and their impact on mountain environments.

Placed below is an excerpt quoting a CAG report on dams and its adverse effects on mountain ecology

Hydro projects causing degeneration of hill ecology: CAG
By Vishal Gulati | IANS India Private Limited – Wed 5 Jun, 2013
Shimla, June 5 (IANS)
'The hydropower projects in Himachal Pradesh -- in private and public sectors -- are not only gobbling up forests but also damaging natural resources, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found.
The compensatory afforestation by the state is highly deficient as 58 percent of the test-checked hydropower projects reported no afforestation at all, the CAG said in its recent report.
It pointed out that lack of re-greening of hills poses severe hazards both to natural ecology and stabilisation of hill slopes……………….

Environmentalist R.S. Negi, who heads the Him Lok Jagriti Manch, a people's movement against upcoming hydro projects in Kinnaur district, told IANS: "The hydro projects are destructive not only to the rivers but also to traditional water channels."
"Before allocating any new project in the entire Himalayan region that falls in seismic zone-IV and the more severe zone-V, the government should first undertake carrying capacity and cumulative impact assessment of the projects," he said.'

The full article is here

Excerpt from another article on Large Dams and Landslides by Dr David Petley is below :-
'The interesting thing here is the paucity of large dams in and around the Himalayan chain (and indeed the Andes).  As I have shown before, the Himalayas are really the global epicentre for landslide activity, so this is the environment that requires the highest level of care with respect to landslide problems. The map below homes in on the Himalayas, again with a DEM as the backdrop:

You will see that there are two types of symbol shown here. The circles with dots in the centre are locations in which my database indicates there have been fatality-inducing landslides associated with large dams in the last ten years. These are mostly landslides at dam construction sites or landslides that have impacted the camps housing employees associated with dam construction or operation. There are a surprising number of landslides given the numbers of dams in this part of the world. This suggests to me that we are not managing landslides properly in this part of the world. …….

My sense is that we are pushing our luck to the limit with the planned dams in and around the Himalayan Arc. The question as to whether these dams should be built at all is important but beyond the scope of this blog. However, the potential landslide problems in these areas are acute and will require a much higher level of management than appears to be occurring at present'

The full article is here

Italics in the above articles are mine.

Praful Rao,

1 comment:

city said...

thanks for share........