'Unplanned housing, uncontrolled hydro projects exposing people to hazards'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: May 28, 2014 20:30 IST

Gathered to aware people about snow avalanches and flood hazards in the hill state, experts raised concern about unplanned housing and unchecked growth of hydro electric projects.

In a day-long workshop organised on 'Snow avalanche and flood hazards' on Wednesday, experts stressed upon effective administrative efforts to control unplanned housing.

Emphasising upon need to have strict norms for construction of houses, director central water commission (CWC) P Dore Gyamba said all calamities were natural but loss was man-made. “It is not flood that causes the loss but we have intruded in its territory,” he said.

He added every year flood evoked bitter memories of previous incidents, especially in Satluj River, but people were still building houses on riverside. “In 2000 floods in the Satluj river hit Rampur town badly but the mushroom growth on the river side is inviting more tragedies,” he said.

Experts from different states and departments also stressed upon regulation to stop people from building houses or tributaries side.

Gyamba also said though the Satluj had seen many tragedies due to flashfloods, many hydel projects have come up on Satluj River.

The experts asserted that one has to regulate these projects as sudden release of water from the power houses cause a flood some time. “In some areas, the river has become the dumping site,” added Gyamba.

Speaking on the occasion, Indian meteorological Department, Dehradun, director Anand Sharma placed more stress over the role of communication. He said, “We should use both traditional and modern means of communication as during calamity even little help is very useful,” said sharma.

He also reiterated and blamed wrong housing planning for hazards. “If we allow people to build houses in vulnerable areas, we are exposing them to the hazards,” he added.

IMD had issued 'early warning' of Kedarnath tragedy

Anand Sharma said he had issued an early warning for Kedarnath flood tragedy. It was not a cloudburst but it was raining heavily for days. “Cloudburst means 10 centimeter rains in one hour but there was hundreds of centimeter rain for couple of days,” he added. “I have given warning even advisory to stop Char dham yatra a day before the tragedy,” said he.

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