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mains Test Series 2018
Q. Landslides in Uttarakhand : Recent landslides in Uttarakhand yet again proved that India’s mountains are under siege. Comment.
Jul 06, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-1 and 3

Ans :

Introduction-

Recent flash floods and landslides killed many people and affected so many families in Uttarakhand. Indian states such as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur have been affected by landslides and consequent floods. Most of the landslides are mainly because of the forests there not being able to cushion the impact of natural onslaughts. The stories of landslides and consequent deaths were repeating year after year, but still no lessons were learnt.

Reasons-

  • Lack of forest preservation has been the principal factor in causing not only landslides but also soil erosion, leading to floods. When it rains in the mountains that have been denuded, rainwater runs off, causing the debris, along with rock boulders, to come hurtling down and destroying homes.

  • The reasons for the decimation of the forests are many such as weak policing by forest guards, a weak incentive structure, inferior weapons, corruption etc. Many times farmers themselves burn down forests to make land fit for cultivation.

Suggestions-

  • As these regions have fragile mountain chain, construction activity on or near the hills should be curbed immediately. And new buildings should strictly conform to scientific standards.

  • Governments should take strict actions to crackdown on illegal timber felling and illegal sand mining in the rivers. And reforestation process should be takes up with more seriously.

  • As constructing barrages in hilly rivers impedes their flow, smaller dams should be tried as a solution.

  • Similarly the government must take the village communities into confidence before taking any step.

Conclusion-

Flash floods, Landslides and consequent deaths, the story repeats year after year in the hilly states. Though it is practically impossible to prevent landslides, but at least we can prevent the consequent loses due to Landslides. State governments must ensure effective implementation of environmental norms and create awareness about such disasters. This is a problem whose roots are deep, hence government must be very serious to tackle this problem.


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