The public is reacting against access tempering with fragile ecology of the region. People are criticizing access excavation of mountains for the widening of the roads. Unscientific cutting of hills on the name of development is literally paving way for the graves of people.
Mandi – The tragic incident of the landslide on the National Highway 154 in Mandi district has come as a shock to rest of the State as the news reports begun to appear on media, online news portals, and social media.
Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, Sandeep Kadam informed that 46 bodies were recovered so far. The rescue operation is underway and the death toll could rise.
Some of them were identified as follows:
After extensive efforts, the rescue teams recovered the mangled chassis of the bus traveling on Manali-Katra (Jammu) route. However, the other bus traveling from Chamba to Manali was difficult to trace as it was completely buried beneath huge mounds of debris and rocks.
As per the fresh government reports, eight passengers were traveling in this bus. Out of eight, three were killed and five sustained injuries. The injured were rescued and admitted at the Zonal Hospital Mandi. Two of the injured have been discharged from the hospital.
As per the last reports received by the time of writing, second bus (Chamba-Manali) that also rolled down the gorge was completely buried but was traced after extensive efforts. Over 40 bodies were recovered from this bus. As per the district administration, the death toll could rise as about 47 passengers were traveling in this bus.
As per the district administration, the death toll could rise as about 47 passengers were traveling in this bus. The bus is buried beneath the debris for over 15 hours now.
The army, local police, National Disaster Relief Force, homegaurds and locals are tirelessly working to remove huge mound of mud and rocks. The Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Transport Minister GS Bali, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anil Sharma and Health Minister Kaul Singh also reached the spot.
HP CM announced the ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for next of kin of the deceased. The administration will also bear the entire expenditure of the treatment of the injured.
— ANI (@ANI) August 13, 2017
Team of @NDRFHQ is going to Mandi to take part in the rescue and relief operations and provide all possible assistance required.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 13, 2017
Last night (between 12 to 1 AM), two buses of the Himachal Pradesh Road Corporation, some other vehicles, and a few residential buildings were swept away by a massive landslide near Kotrupi of Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh. The buses were swept about one kilometer down a gorge. The mounds of debris were so huge that the administration was not sure about the number of missing people or missing vehicles.
Meanwhile, the public is reacting against access tempering with fragile ecology of the region. People are criticizing access excavation of mountains for the widening of the roads. Unscientific cutting of hills on the name of development is turning out to be a grave for humans.
My condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in Mandi.Request Himachal govt. & local Congress units to provide all possible help
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) August 13, 2017
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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