Joshimath subsidence: IIT Ropar researchers predicted surface displacement in 2021, claims institute - Hindustan Times
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Joshimath subsidence: IIT Ropar researchers predicted surface displacement in 2021, claims institute

ByPress Trust of India
Jan 09, 2023 11:55 PM IST

Amid the land subsidence crisis that has gripped Joshimath, IIT-Ropar in Punjab on Monday claimed that its researchers had in 2021 predicted a large-scale surface displacement in the Uttarakhand town in a span of two years.

Chandigarh Amid the land subsidence crisis that has gripped Joshimath, IIT-Ropar in Punjab on Monday claimed that its researchers had in 2021 predicted a large-scale surface displacement in the Uttarakhand town in a span of two years.

The release said both Dr Tiwari and Dr Tripathi have also demanded that any such studies that predict disasters should be taken seriously so that proper mitigation measures could be taken well in advance to save life and property. (HT photo)
The release said both Dr Tiwari and Dr Tripathi have also demanded that any such studies that predict disasters should be taken seriously so that proper mitigation measures could be taken well in advance to save life and property. (HT photo)

“A team of researchers led by Dr Reet Kamal Tiwari, assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar, had carried out the glacial displacement mapping for the 2021 Joshimath flood scenario as early as March 2021. “During the study, Dr Tiwari and his then PhD student Dr Akshar Tripathi, who is now working as assistant professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at IIT Patna, had predicted a large-scale surface displacement to come up in a span of two years for Joshimath town,” a release issued by the institute said.

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“They had used Persistent Scatterer SAR Interferometry (PSInSAR) technique using Sentinel-1 satellite data for the study. The predictions ranged between 7.5 cm to 10 cm displacement for buildings in Joshimath city which is enough to cause large scale cracks in buildings, a scenario which is now very much evident in the last few days,” the institute said.

The study was presented in a conference held in Lucknow on April 16, 2021, for which Tripathi was awarded the ‘Best Paper Award’. “However, the study was considered to be a hoax and potentially a fear psychosis by many experts in the area,” it said.

Owing to what Joshimath town is facing now and the prediction holding to be true, Dr Tiwari has reiterated his long-term demand that setting up an inter-IIT institute of excellence on Himalayan disasters is the need of the hour. According to the release, Dr Tiwari also calls it a first of its kind successful inter-institutional collaboration on Himalayan disasters. Dr Akshar Tripathi has seconded the demand for setting up the inter-disciplinary and inter-IIT institution and called the Himalayas to be “our physical and climatic saviours that need to be preserved and protected”. The release said both Dr Tiwari and Dr Tripathi have also demanded that any such studies that predict disasters should be taken seriously so that proper mitigation measures could be taken well in advance to save life and property. Relief and rescue efforts were intensified in Joshimath after it was declared a landslide and subsidence-hit zone, with the Centre on Sunday stressing that the immediate priority is the safety of people and asking experts to prepare short and long term plans for conservation and rehabilitation.

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