Resource centre on India's rural distress

A resilient future for Uttarakhand -A Nambi Appadurai

-The Hindu

The need of the hour is to invest in long-term crisis response mechanisms and resilience solutions

Days after a glacier burst in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand caused flash floods, the scientific community is still struggling to understand what triggered the disaster. At the time of writing this article, the death toll was 34 with more than 170 people missing. The floods have also caused heavy damage to public and private infrastructure, including the NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydropower project and the Rishiganga mini hydro project. The incident was reminiscent of the 2013 disaster in Uttarakhand which killed thousands.

Why is Uttarakhand vulnerable?

Uttarakhand is located in the midst of young and unstable mountains, and is subject to intense rainfall. But these natural characteristics can’t be solely responsible for devastations the State has witnessed in the past decade. For years geologists, glaciologists and climate experts have voiced their fears about an impending disaster due to climate change, rapid and indiscriminate construction activities, and the subsequent ecological destruction in the region.

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