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No immediate threat to glaciers say expert

india Updated: May 03, 2010 19:48 IST
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A study group constituted by Prime Minister to ascertain the status of Himalayan glaciers has noted that there was no immediate threat to glaciers. The group has also recommended for formation of a nodal agency for conducting further studies on Himalayan glaciers.

“Though glaciers are receding but that does not signify any immediate threat” told Chandi Prasad Bhatt, noted environmentalist and a member of a study group headed by Anand Patwardhan of IIT Mumbai.

Citing the findings, Bhatt said, “ebbing of glaciers is a part of natural cycle. There are several glaciers in the Himalayan region and different activities have been reported on these glaciers. Some are receding 1-2 meters in a year while an important glacier of Yamuna River named Jaundar Bamak is receding at a rate of 37 meters per year”.

Similarly Gangotri glacier, the main source of Ganga River receding 18.8 meters every year. Moreover Pindar glacier, that feeds Alaknanda River receding 23.47 meters every year. “Ganga River seem to have no instant risk though receding rate of glaciers feeding Yamuna and Alaknanda Rivers is a concern,” added Bhatt.

It is learnt United Nation’s inter governmental panel report headed by RK Pachauri had underlined that Himalayan glaciers might recede completely by the year 2035. The report triggered debate in the government and environmental circles thus forcing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh constituted a separate study group for Himalayan glaciers.

The group has recommended a nodal agency for glaciers. The group has also studied effect of climatic change on people living in the Himalayan region. Report has mentioned that attention is not paid towards people who are facing problems due to effect on their irrigation, agriculture, and livestock owing to receding of glaciers.

Group has advised for in-depth study on the agro pattern and farming in the Himalayan belt. Furthermore it has also advocated for studying effect on the local vegetation.