himalayan blunder

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Dear Chairman to SrnceI do not subscribeto Hindustan Times the request for submissions the KosiFlood my old friend Himanshu Thakkar'selnquiry Commissionescaped by notice. However, mail intimationgave me this opportunity. I have worked as a groundwater/ environmental geologistin Bihar for for more than ten years from 1957 onwards and remainedin charge of GS/'s Drought work in Bihar during in 1965-66( Hope I have the years correctly! SrnceI don't have time enough , I am fonaardingan afticle of mine that was publishedin "RearWindow"of The Sundaylndian ( Atn-14th.Sept.'1|) basedon an interuiew) ( I I shallremain gratefulif this alsoconsideredas a feedback.

TSI Flo o dF u r y :

BLUNDER KOSI A HIMALAYAN :with Himalaya, makingdams and roadswill causemajorfloodsin the future Tampering




. **Su b r a ta i n h a S

Peopleare in The entireKosiflood issuehas been understood the wrongperspective. and blaming riverslike Kosiand Teesta,but it is not the riversthat havegone haywire The primesourceof the problemlies in disaster. and causedthis preventable foreseeable it mountain chain.lf we playthe fool with the Himalayas, will hit back. the Himalaya basin:the in everything the Indo-Ganga-Brahmaputra Tampering with the Himalaya affects bul ko f o u r s u b -co n ti n e n t. Dams,borderroads...wherever everywhere. The government damagedthe Himalaya has in you haveborderroads,thereare landslides belowthat.Theselandslides turn raisethe Yet, thereare lotsof floodsin the valleys. devastating riverbedsby silt deposition, causing including to from Uttaranchal Arunachal, existing and proposed dams and Hydelprojects in Arunachal Pradesh, despitelocal Sikkim, and colossal dams are also underconstruction resistance.l..l:i:till::vlltl'1ill,yill:rl;*!;1*]]Ii|l11ii.li'J]!*].f.:.j|.liii:iii:l,-rlliLt:lltl.||lr:..vilid' iill;ill1r.:l;irlqjl.ii|r*Ll*)lli:l.l;:;:l:;:.i'::ri1!llit-;:ll:l-':l..:i.ilrli:l':1*|r'ripilrc.lrt.rl*|ayanChain.ate,hrlg| ,jrt|tli:ltl;l!1.i;t:;:1l.iliiiii:l;:,.;i1..ir]]:l'li:li*;ttll.;l,iiil.}':i.:1rlrl:l;li|i;i,.;i;ld*;it0NV!y&nm

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and metamorphosed Thesemountains basically that were folded,crumpled, are sediments and the between DeccanPlateau the when squeezed heavedup from the TethysSea, er ar and highly osion A s i a nm a i n l a n dT h u sth e ro ckyma te rial thesem ountains e fr agile in . p ro n e . a y I c orn p a re e H i ma l a ya i tha hum anhead,and any inter fer ence to a akin w M th paralyses entirebody.Likethe body,the country too has a huge river thrombosis the

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Page of3 2 network the veinsand arleries, like and a 'thrombosis' affects entirecountry. the 'll:*r*r::r'r*f.riri*r:r itiirffiiay* ir, l:il *r"r**nily il giganticmonsoon,which no othef,hlgh hy t"]f i*i'li'lr r:r***tnin *n3'wh*r*r*i** si";ff*f* li ;s a bim**al *y*t*nr: it poursfor twp rnonthsand the {egl *fth*y*elli*ft.hi;;I*nr*i*ry,,}lt*r*}}y'fh*r*igmngsivser0$|aLduflngM f*rg*t that *r*sj*n h*pp*l"is y**r r"*und. th* h*enu*ethe sleqpslopesof the mountains are dry *ncl ****r:rc l**s*" iilh*n th* n*xt r*in* r*me. ihese dqpositsacrc$$sameatlhq g*filt*$*r rrvL:i*ts iur;:i:l*d*'.vn, l,vtlfr d*v**l*tir"ig **nseEUences.

Thereis anothermajormisconception. Peopleneedto underqtand riversll that and Kosiare partof the same integrated with a huge,connected system, alluvial bas-in. is lt not as if the riversare completely off from each other,So any actionon ArcjXqpgglelhe cut other,but few realisethis singularpoint.Then there are the qven rnO{Cl dengercU$ embankments. Kosiflood happened The when such an embenkmenl1y-as by surging burst waters.Embankments playground the mightyrivers.!n betrryeqn interfere with the natural of any two embankments, thereis silt deposition, whichraises fryef !eg!q,so the nexttime lhe duringmon$oon, chances up of a moredevastating go the plgyiousones.We flqad_than haverepeatedly warnedthe governments.did so as Director, I Land Usjl Boardin West Ben g ab u tt o n o a va i l . l One must understand also that water finds its own course;it ig ja$fe{rucjple AtXatUe. Humanshave to live with it The latestreportis that the Koslfloqdlvatefghqvelaundlhetl way intothe Gangathrougha new channel. Thatwill tremendously increase flow in the Gangaas well as Hooghlyrivers. its stands, As overland flow duringthe monsoon goes into the ocean.I apprehend that the entireRajarhat industrial will act as a wall and forcethe belt flowfrom up the valleyinto Bangladesh and Kolkata. Similarly Singurand its adjoining industrial spreadshallcompelthe Hooghly and otherriversto changecourse. Another Teesta-Kosi situation may be triggered then.Thereare floodsin the northeast now.The additional dangerthere is, beingin the foothills the Himalaya, of most of the erosionleaves behindcoarsesediments pebbles and boulders raising riverbeds even higher, the and alsoincreasing forceof the water.Besides, the recently startedsurfacewaterirrigation in areaswith massiveunconfined aquifers leadto permanently will waterlogging.brrrrgl:r:ilit::Arurrrchal l-rrallesh, nearthe syqtqlig!bendol$elllfflglgyqs. "tr**r"s h** h**n n* *xt**:rr:ph!* *:nrth*uxk*in th* !*{imalaynn bellfot decades; mqq1tAln !:ui s*rrcr*i*f l****r t*l*nsityh** **;:p*r:**. &llnny stinntistfeel that the s*isrnicgap:lhe ;''1r'.f1,;,r.:i'r ii r*';i*itir:g *l* *pi**ntre iS 1QV-V,Sle$lng. "big i11n !i**r$ **tv;**r"l fr',rl:,: llthe .,1,..rjlrast*r,S*in th*r* a g*lutioIl Yes: gA }aqklA nqlg1e. ":, *:ln;" {:ilfJ-r**. ,ri'i,"{ .:n.+" lli*l li*vrv* ih* *g*-*ir:ix;ll**lti;r*l liv*lif:*** *y*i*nr r,viri*h saluteghQl&ei* qWfilhfnlfnqAnd *cirnv*s n*l*ttltrr; t* h*r wlsh**. lJp in lfi* i-'{irnalay;}, for extensive g* watershed rnfril;i!}*flr*rt*yst*n:* xt th* p**pl*'* **;al*. not g*vcrnmcnlAlqg_ale-fhig completely will ilri ihr:vrr>: rr fli. ijlel{j rii i:lai:{i *l

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Wi;r;iis*tr*nri:*t *{ [,4]*]ilF ilnv. &pp.il*n:n":itt**s Rivcr valley& Hydel Projects f*r

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