Landslides in India
With the advent of monsoon, the incidents of landslides are triggered across the country. States along Western Ghats (Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra etc.) and Himalayan region are more prone to landslides causes by excess rainfall.
Landslide-Prone Areas: In India the hilly areas in 16 States and in two Union Territories in the Himalayan region, sub-Himalayan parts of the northeast and in Western Ghats are landslide-prone region. These areas comprise about 12.6% or 4.2 lakh sq km of India’s landmass spreading over 159 districts. For Instance-during June-July this year, the Geological Survey of India recorded 20 landslides in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim that killed at least 36 people.
1. Geological Reasons: Landslides can be initiated by volatile slopes already on the verge of movement by rainfall, snowmelt, changes in water level, stream erosion, changes in ground water, earthquakes, volcanic activity, or any combination of these factors.
2. Anthropogenic Reasons: A slew of human activities besides geological factors such as weathering of underlying bedrock, activities include unplanned excavation of slopes for road and railway projects, rampant dumping of slope-excavated material, quarrying, mining and building construction besides ‘modification’ of and encroachment on natural drainage systems pose threat of landslide. For Instance- Unusually high rainfall and unscientific land use cause landslides year after year in Idukki - the hill districts of Kerala.
Impacts of Landslides
Landslides have devastating impact socially as well as environmentally. Property damages, injuries, and death are inevitable during a heavy landslide. The damages remain constant even after its occurrence, for instance-water supplies, sewage disposal systems, forests, dams, and roadways can be affected for years after a slide event.
What needs can to be done
There is need to adopt the structural measures that involve engineering works for slope stabilisation and control of artificial landslides.
Additional measures such as-the identification and avoidance of landslide-prone areas through monitoring and warning systems should be inducted to mitigate the risk of landslide in India.
Integration of EIA and National Landslide Susceptibility Mapping with infrastructure development and planning in hilly or mountainous areas in the country can help avoid disasters and human fatalities.
Natural disasters may never be prevented entirely, but at least can be avoided. By adopting the sustainable practices natural disasters can be prevented to turn into man-made ones. Landslides are one such example—and as rain and weather patterns get increasingly unstable, the time to act is clearly now. There is need to deploy the tech led early warning system throughout the country.
PEPPER IT WITH
National Disaster Management Authority, Sendai Framework, Bhukosh Portal