Home Dehradun Hydropower projects not responsible for land subsidence in Joshimath: IIRS

Hydropower projects not responsible for land subsidence in Joshimath: IIRS


By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 6 Apr: According to sources, the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) in its ground study based report has claimed that hydropower projects in the region do not seem to have any role behind the land subsidence in Uttarakhand.

It may be recalled that scientific studies by various central government scientific institutions are still underway but the IIIRS in its study repot has claimed that hydropower projects in the Chamoli district are not the cause of the land subsidence and landslides in Garhwal region. In fact, the IIRS has gone on to further claim that due to hydropower projects, the incidents and the extent of landslides and land subsidence have reduced in the surrounding areas.

It may be recalled that IIRS is a Dehradun based Union Government institute.According to the sources, nine projects across the country have been studied in the report including the Dhauliganga River Hydropower Project in Uttarakhand. The study and the reports prepared are based on the studies regarding landslides in ongoing and under construction hydro projects using Remote Sensing and GIS techniques on behalf of IIRS.

The Institute conducted studies on nine National Hydro Power Projects. These include Subansiri Lower in Arunachal Pradesh, Teesta-5 and Rangit in Sikkim, Salal, Dulhasti and Uri-II in Jammu and Kashmir, Chamera-I and Parbat-II in Himachal Pradesh, and the under construction Dhauliganga project at Joshimath.

The report has concluded that the hydrological conditions helped stabilise the areas surrounding these projects. The study maps the location of landslides 10 years prior to the start of construction of the project and up to the present location of the power station. The report pointed out that, in most of the cases, the landslide area after the project has come up has decreased significantly as compared to the area observed before the construction of the project. The study revealed that landslide activities around hydropower projects are not related to the project’s construction activity.

According to the report, it appears from the data obtained that, in most of the cases, the hydrological conditions post commissioning and construction of hydroelectric projects and related activities might have helped to stabilise the area. The report also adds that the size of hydroelectric projects, reservoir size, local geology, soil and land cover conditions including the vegetation cover play some slope stabilisation role in reducing landslides in project areas.