The Hindu Newspaper Analysis – 12 February 2021

Himachal and Uttarakhand Himalayas + solutions

Himachal and Uttarakhand Himalayas + solutions
  • The region of the Himachal and the Uttarakhand Himalayas is a significant part of the Himalayan mountain ranges. This region consists of two important states of India, namely, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and lies between the river Ravi in the west and the river Kali in the east which means it is drained by two major rivers systems of Indus and Ganga, also some it’s tributaries.
  • First, when we look at the state of Himachal Pradesh, it is a further extension of the Cold desert of Ladakh and has regions like Lahaul and Spiti. It also houses several mountain ranges like Nagtiba or Dhaloadhar.
  • Further down it houses some beautiful hill stations like Shimla, Mussoorie, Dharmshala among others. Further, we see the formation of duns like Dehradun, Kalka Dun, Harike Dun, etc. among which the Dehradun is the largest. There is the existence of Bugyals or the summer grasslands to which the Bhutiya tribes migrate in summer.
  • Further, the state of Uttarakhand, it is known for pilgrimage sites like Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib among others. Here we also see several tributaries of Ganga flowing which form Prayags (River confluences) and have both ecological as well as mythological significance like Dev Prayag, Vishnu Prayag, Rudra Prayag among others.
  • Hence, we know that this is a fragile region with a vulnerable ecosystem and we have seen the recent glacier burst recently in the region as well.
  • As this is a region of the young fold mountains, it is subject to many vulnerabilities, heavy rainfall, climate change, construction activities, developments, and so on.
  • The exact cause of the glacier burst is not known but it has been attributed to facts like
    • Erosion
    • Avalanche
    • Water pressure built up in the reservoirs
    • The rapid increase or decrease in the melting of ice and so on
  • There was also the Chopra committee setup in 2014 regarding this region and provided that construction activities need to be limited in the region and the embankments need to be saved.
  • There are several solutions that have been provided in this article which are as follows:
    • We need to invest heavily in planning about what has to be done and how.
    • Climate proof infrastructure has to be built which can resist disasters like road stabilization technology, strengthen infrastructure like bridges and dams but that shouldn’t be at the cost of harming the environment.
    • The embankments have to be strengthened in this regard.
    • We need to have an early warning system that predicts various things like floods and so on.
    • We need to have a proper policy, guidelines, or even standards that deal with all the activities and work that happens in this region as such.
    • We have to train people and develop the capacity for various spheres like awareness, education, and so on.
  • All in all, various things have to be taken into account and solve the issue in this regard.

Indo China Developments

  • Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh announced that there has been an agreement between India and China about the disengagement in the LAC or the Ladakh region. This points out there is an ease in tensions between the two nations and provides a promise and hope for a better future.
  • This will be done in a phased, coordinated, and a verified manner.
  • There will be a temporary moratorium placed on the patrolling in the region.
  • The equipment and the arms in the region like tanks, jets will be withdrawn in the right manner.
  • Troops will be sent back to their respective positions.
  • This points out that the major issue here will be solved and the remaining minor problems will be put to an end as well.
  • This has to be done both on the letter as well as on spirit and this will be the right way forward as the disengagement at the LAC is vital for the broader relationship between India and China.
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