SHIMLA- Shimla has already become a case study for rest of the world owing to growing rhesus monkey-man conflict. But now, the conflict with langurs, too, in Himachal is leading to life threatening situations. On Friday, a (Gray Himalayan) langur snatched a three-years-old baby from the hands of his mother in Solan district and climbed on a nearby wall. The mother was horrified after what see saw and had almost lost consciousness.
The woman, a resident of Sector-4 in Parwanoo, was had come out for routine business and was accompanied by another lady. The little boy was holding his mother’s finger and was also walking. The two women were chatting casually when a full-grown animal suddenly appeared from nowhere and snatched the baby before the women could act. The langur climbed on a nearby wall with the baby. When the other lady tried to scare away the langur, it dropped the boy on ground and attacked her. She received minor injuries. Fortunately, the boy got away with no serious injury. The people said the boy could have died from that height.
The hue and cry of women alarmed others who rushed to the scene and scared away the langur. The locals reported the matter to the police as well as to the range officer of the area. People demanded that the aggressive langurs should be captured or culled keeping in mind the safety of residents.
As per sources, at least, a gang of three such langurs have been reported to be behaving abnormally for past one month. These langurs are aggressive and have been creating panic among residents for some time. Residents complained that school children are being exposed to life-threatening risk due to presence of these aggressive animals. The horrific incident of Friday has further created panic in the locality.
The authority has assured the residents that the department will try to capture these langur using cages. The aggressive langurs will be shot dead if the efforts to capture them did not succeed, said the official.
The Gray Himalayan langur or Hanuman langur are believed to be less aggressive in apes that prefer to live deep inside jungles. However, urbanization has forced these shy animals to adapt to behavioral pattern which is not natural to them.
A small village becomes a town and a city, neighboring groups (langurs) gradually become adopted to live in urban conditions. They acquires new habitats and behavioral patterns in this process, said a research conducted on man-monkey conflict in Jodhpur in 2010.
The findings of the study, which is now six-year-old, had claimed that Hanuman langurs never became fully-urbanized like rhesus macaque. However, by 2017, it appears that now langurs have also begun to learn unnatural behavioral patterns to adapt to and survive in the urban space.
Man has played the most vital role in development of these unnatural behavioral patterns that are now posing risk to the safety of both humans and animals. Moreover, the state government isn’t much bothered about conducting scientific studies to find practical solution to this conflict.
Photo: India Nature Watch/Representational
Krishi Karman Award to Himachal for increased food grain production
The total food grains production in the state increased from 14.94 lakh tonnes to 16.40 lakh tonnes during last five years
Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has received the Krishi Karman Award for its achievement in showing highest production of food grains, said the State government.
Agriculture Minister Dr Ramlal Markanda received ‘Krishi Karman Award’ for the year 2015-16 from Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a ceremony organized at New Delhi, yesterday. The award consists of a trophy, citation, and cash prize.
Besides, two progressive farmers of the state including a woman farmer also received the prizes.
Congratulating the Agriculture department for this achievement, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Dr Srikant Baldi said this feat was achieved by the department by extending technological inputs and services to the farmers of the state.
As per the government records, the total food grains production in the state increased from 14.94 lakh tonnes to 16.40 lakh tonnes during last five years. Besides, the department claims it has also done commendable work in promoting poly-house cultivation, crop diversification, micro-irrigation, organic farming and soil health management.
Krishi Karman Awards are instituted by the Union Ministry of Agriculture in 2010-11 to reward the best performing States in the production of rice, wheat, cereals, pulses and total food grains.
HP Cabinet Minister Vipin Singh Parmar celebrates birthday with special children
Shimla: Health and Family Welfare Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Vipin Singh Parmar, visited the school for deaf and dumb at Dhalli, Shimla, in the late evening and celebrated his birthday with special children.
Health Minister distributed fruits, vegetables, cake and sweets to the children. He also attended the cultural programme presented by the children on this occasion.
Parmar said the State government is giving special emphasis on the welfare of special children, education, food and shelter facilities. He urged teachers and staff members at school to work for the welfare of these children with commitment and dedication.
These children are an important part of the society. These children have some traits and talents in them which need to be honed for their better future, he said.
He said many special children are contributing to the society at par with the general citizens. These children are also serving efficiently in the government services.
Parmar interacted with children and encouraged them to learn more. He said that these children are special to the society. They should have a progressive approach to the life and a passion for learning.
Son of Kanchan Singh Parmar, Vipin was born at village Nanao, Tehsil Palampur, in Kangra on March 15 March, 1964.
Rohtang Tunnel access road facing increased avalanche threats as Himachal’s average temp on rise: Study
Shimla: A research carried out in Himachal Pradesh within the framework of the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Program (IHCAP), a partnership led jointly by the Indian and Swiss authorities with strong scientific input from University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has a bad news for the Hill State.
The impacts of global warming are felt especially in mountainous regions, where the rise in temperatures is above average, affecting both glacierized landscapes and water resources.
The repercussions of these changes are manifold and varied, from retreating glaciers to an increase in the frequency and intensity of snow avalanches.
A team of researchers from the UNIGE, Switzerland, has employed endrochronology– the reconstruction of past disasters as recorded in growth series of trees– to disentangle the role of global warming in the triggering avalanches.
The results of this study are published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Science – PNAS.
Read Detailed Study
Avalanches are a natural phenomenon and occur repeatedly in mountain areas; nonetheless, rising temperatures are altering their triggering. This can lead to disasters and serious consequences in mountain areas where they can severely affect the socio-economic development and the destruction of traffic infrastructure, and buildings.
This is the case in Himachal Pradesh, where increasing residential numbers and tourism are exerting pressure on land use. Along the road to Leh, 500 km north of New Delhi, the Indian government has drilled one of the largest tunnels of the Indian sub-continent.
With the ongoing climate warming, snow avalanches are increasingly threatening the access road to the tunnel. This is why UNIGE researchers conducted their fieldwork at the spot from 2013 to 2015, in a valley located at between 3,000 and 4,000 m.
Trees: silent witnesses to the upsurge in the number of avalanches
The aim of the research group was to evaluate – and add to – the information currently available about avalanches with two goals:
(i) To identify the nature of the changes in avalanche activity currently taking place; and
(ii) To assess future needs for tackling these changes.
In the absence of data comparable to the information collected in European surveys, for which records often exist for the past few centuries, the UNIGE researchers focused on trees: they examined stumps (when the tree had been removed) or cored trees that were still standing to reconstruct past snow avalanches at the study site.
The scientists were able to date individual events by analysing the growth rings and wounds left on the trees by avalanches. The research included nearly 150 trees.
Since we knew the position of each affected tree, we were able to reconstruct the dynamics, lateral extent and runout distance of every avalanche,
explains Juan Antonio Ballesteros-Cánovas, a senior lecturer at UNIGE’s Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE).
This technique meant we could go back to 1855 and record 38 avalanches over this period in the valley, the largest survey conducted to date in the Himalayas.
The models used for testing the impact of climate change combine the risks of avalanche with local climate data. They were adjusted to include the likely effect on topographical features resulting from earlier avalanches.
Since they destroy the plant cover, they are an aggravating risk factor. The results brooked no argument: from the second half of the twentieth century, there has been an increase in the number of avalanches, both in terms of frequency and intensity. The frequency has risen from one event per decade to almost one event every year.
The impact of temperature on the cryosphere
Avalanches are bigger, travel greater distances and are triggered earlier in the year. These changes can be attributed clearly to rising temperatures, which have reached 0.2 to 0.4 degrees annually in some parts of the Himalayas.
And rising air temperature are also affecting the cryosphere: glaciers are receding and permafrost is melting, losing its role as a sediment stabiliser.
In addition, the structure of the snowpack is changing: it is being transformed by increasingly warmer air temperatures and/or altered by rain-on-snow events.
Snow is now also falling earlier in the season and is being destabilised before spring, at a time when it is thicker, leading to an increase in the number and intensity of avalanches.
Since the snow is wet, avalanches are descending slowly but over greater distances than in the past.
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