"The Himalayas are highly prone to landslides."Discuss the causes and suggest suitable measures of mitigation.

The Himalayan regions are highly prone to landslides, which leads to life loss, the decay of resources, and properties. The movement of a mass of rock, debris as well as deep-seated slope failures, mudflows along with the inclination of the mountains often creates impediments to the normal lifestyle.

Causes: There are several natural as well as man-made factors that are responsible for such landslides.

  • The Himalayan regions encounter abrupt tectonic activities that are responsible for the loosening of the soil and eventually cause landslides.
  • Heavy rainfalls on the steep slopes cause surface runoff and soil erosion.
  • All these factors, combined with climate change and global warming causes natural calamities like landslides.
  • Apart from that, man-made causes like Jhoom cultivation, deforestation, illegal mining also play crucial roles for landslides.

Possible measures: Both preventive, as well as curative measures, are going to be effective to sort out the problem.

Preventive measures:

  • More approach towards afforestation, which consolidates the soil around the roots of the tree and protects from loosening.
  • Limited construction and mining activities with more geographical research around sensitive areas.
  • Arrangement of proper drainage for rainwater, that will ensure no waterlogging.
  • Setting up an expert team with geologists and other professionals to conduct frequent routine checkup may work as a preventive measure.

Curative measures: As a curative measure, spreading awareness among the native people about the causes and consequences of providing proper training for evacuation could be a better idea.

An integrated and dedicated approach towards improving advance preparedness, participation of both central and concerned state governments will definitely curb out the problem.

Question for UPSC Mains:
“The Himalayas are highly prone to landslides.”Discuss the causes and suggest suitable measures of mitigation.

Published: December 5, 2016 | Modified:August 15, 2020

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