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Ghosh C.,National Institute of Disaster management | Pal I.,Asian Institute of Technology
Geotechnical Engineering | Year: 2017

Many "Run of the River" projects in the North West part of Himalaya have been frequented by "Cloud Burst" induced flash flood in since 2009, which is primarily attributed to climate variability and land use pattern changes due to unregulated developmental perspectives against the rising demand of tourist related establishments. Given the ageing population of vulnerable constructions along the hilly terrains, safety issues require more attention in the form of technical auditing cum inspections, routine monitoring, emergency drills, surveillance systems, and regularly updated emergency action plans. Added to this accelerated events of "cloud burst" induced flash flood in the hilly region has opened up Dam safety issues, which are rather debated in the court of law for which geo-professional intervention are to be looked into. This paper explains the climatic and other geo-morphological changes that might have caused Uttarakhand Flash Flood-2013. Damages to the geotechnical structures in the form of excessive erosion, landslides, siltation of catchment area of several Dams in Uttarakhand state of India are described along with some illustration of landslides mitigation by simple bio-engineering solution as one the means of reconstruction measures across the state.

Ansari F.A.,Indian Institute of Toxicology Research | Gupta A.K.,National Institute of Disaster Management | Yunus M.,Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University
International Journal of Environmental Research | Year: 2011

Management of solid waste (flyash) has attained an apparent scenario for scientific & strategic concern in India due to large-scale dependence on coal-based thermal power plants. Waste utilization as the best option of pollution-prevention and disaster risk strategy has been worked out during previous decades to open doors for flyash utilization on various sectors of developmental and manufacturing sectors. Low application of flyash has reportedly been employed as a soil ameliorant and experiments have demonstrated tree plantation over flyash landfills using organically rich wastes to prepare the suitable substrates. However, the large-scale and voluminous generation of flyash averagely on regular basis calls for bulk utilization options in a productive purpose. Present study discusses the features of coal-combustion flyash and a study of two important vegetable crops, viz., Brinjal and Spinach, grown on flyash substrate. The results advocated the flyash application as higher as up to 50% in case of common garden soils, supporting the options of bulk utilization of flyash in horticultural cropping. The discussions suggested screening of suitable species on the basis of dose-response studies for evolving a protocol for flyash management under ecofriendly protocols.

Sattenpalli S.,Revenue | Parkash S.,National Institute of Disaster Management
Landslide Science and Practice: Global Environmental Change | Year: 2013

Generally the land divided on usage categories like cultivation, human settlements, pastures, fallow lands, arable lands, canals, hillocks etc. During ancient times, only tribal people used to settle in hilly terrains but now-a-days urban agglomerations are also found on hill slopes. People prefer to live in these areas even much hinter-lands, due to scope for growth in vertical/horizontal way. Priority to settle on slopes is due to hike in land cost, hype of real estate, change in land use, role of land mafia, urban pressures, proximity to work places, livelihood and social and economic compulsions. Change in land use is the utmost important factor for settlement of people in landslide prone areas. Majority of land alienated to software and other allied industries, SEZS, Corporate educational institutions, corporate hospitals, golf courses, real estate firms run by private companies, transfer to para-statal agencies, tourism developmental activities, infrastructure developments such as Metro rails, air ports, highways, flyovers, utilities and services etc. People living there are vulnerable to normal life such as no connectivity for food chain, water, transport, communication, no access to health, education and good hygienic conditions, all became hindrances to their social and economic life. Heavy rains, sudden fast draw-down from water reservoirs and water leakage from utilities causes landslides in hill slopes particularly in monsoon period. Due to increasing in population density and landslide damage, the urban areas suffer heavy damages and losses. In high altitude areas people live near to landslide prone zones facing peculiar problem of inaccessibility to communication, transportation and food security. The control of damage in fire accidents, reduction of casualties is not feasible as only manual linkage is accessible for immediate relief. Governance is complicating in creation of infrastructure while providing amenities, accessibility to livelihoods affected on linkage of welfare programs results set back to developmental plans, vulnerability reduction is difficult in case of increasing population density. Abundant gap in permissions and taxation and immediate relief in exigencies exist in the government system. Land use planning by creating fool proofmechanismin water usage utilities, control blasting operations/debris in nearby areas, creation of better alternative living environment in proximity to work places. In core areas 20 % land reserved for this people, through legislation of 'slum identification, redevelopment, rehabilitation and prevention Act', covered security of tenure with a reserved quota to the people living on landslides areas and solid waste landfill sites, and other hazardous areas like canal bunds, tank beds, road margins, burial grounds etc. shall be covered under JNNURM, RAY, IAY, ACDP programs in phased manner. Permissions for settlement and expansions should be discouraged by ULBs. Mentioning the people living in landslide prone areas as special category in UNIQUE ID Card, not in a manner of HUCKO ID Cards of China, may provide flexibility to settle in better livelihood places by giving top priority, by reserving land in SEZS for the people. Segregate accommodation to be provided for families to avoid destruction in social life unlike dormitories. Equal priority for food security will be given to these people in issuing of smart cards such as chronic hungers like children, pregnant women, old persons, disabled and homeless in supply of essential commodities with a comprehensive approach for implementing of Food security Act. Providing incentives and subsidies to go downs in protected areas near to landslides for PDS and kept buffer stocks for immediate relief in emergency seasons. Separate calamity fund are available for ULBs to meet exigencies against incessant heavy rains, fire accidents and other hazards. Training on mitigation and skill development along with NSDC and MEPMA for better livelihoods would be good option. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.

Gupta S.P.,National Institute of Disaster Management
ISRM International Symposium - 8th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2014 | Year: 2014

India has 2% of the total land area of the world but supports more than 17% of global population. Due to diverse geological environment and geodynamic processes, the country faces several types of geohazards including earthquakes, landslides, tsunami, glacial lake outburst floods, landslide dammed lake out burst floods etc. that affect the lives, economy and environment adversely. About 2% of the gross domestic product and 12% of the revenue is lost on an average annually due to various disasters that also kill several thousand people. Approximately 59% of the land territory is affected by earthquakes and falls in seismic zones III, IV and V where seismic intensities of VII, VIII and IX respectively may be expected. The northern part of the country comprises Himalayan belt that is geodynamically active, climatically sensitive and severely susceptible to landslides and flash floods besides the earthquakes. Due to changing climatic conditions, rising population and unsafe development / urbanization practices, the incidences and impacts of these geohazards are increasing. Keeping the above context in mind, the national disaster management authority in India has made attempts to assess the types and levels of these disasters that affected the country in the past and identified potential risks to different vulnerable elements based on inputs from various sectors and disciplines. The professional geologists and engineers have contributed greatly towards better scientific understanding of the geohazards and formulating effective plans for safer sustainable development. The national level policy, guidelines, plans, programmes, projects and procedures / regulatory measures focusing on technical, administrative, financial, legal and socio-cultural issues, have targeted integration of disaster risk reduction with development. The paper discusses the national initiatives with particular reference to earthquakes and landslides with a view to share and exchange the experiences in disaster risk reduction. It will help in learning good and bad practices for promoting disaster resistant / resilient development and nurturing a culture of risk avoidance, prevention, mitigation and preparedness at global level. © 2014 by Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics.

Parkash S.,National Institute of Disaster Management
Water and Energy International | Year: 2012

Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function. It is a set of interconnected structural elements that provide framework and supports an entire structure of development. It includes roads, communication, power, water supply, sewerage systems etc., which are essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions. However, infrastructure is not only the public works facilities, but also the operating procedures, management practices, development and disaster management policies that interact together with societal demand and the physical infrastructure. The large physical networks necessary for the functioning are often referred as Hard Infrastructure whereas soft infrastructure refers to the institutions/systems/procedures which are required to maintain the safety, economy, health, cultural and social standards as well as the law enforcement and emergency services. The present paper focuses mainly on the soft infrastructure, with particular emphasis on landslide risk reduction related to development, maintenance and management of hard infrastructure in hilly terrains. It is well knawn fact that unplanned and unscientific developments have aggravated the incidences and impacts of disastersllandslides on the society as well as environment in hills, resulting in huge losses. According to an economic estimate, India loses about Rs.lOO billion annually on an average due to landslides. Besides the economic losses, hundreds of human lives are lost and thausands of people become homeless anOIor jobless. Considering the magnitude of landslides impacts and risks, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Government of India had widespread consultations with all stakehalders and issued national guidelines for management of landslides and avalanches. The guidelines envisage systematic approach to landslides risk reduction and proposed action plans for different activities to be undertaken by organizations, professionals and communities. NDMA has also proposed a disaster risk audit for the development projects so that adverse impacts of development can be reduced as well as the risks of disasters on our development are also minimized. It gives an overview of the national guidelines on management of landslides and avalanches with particular reference to infrastructure projects for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in development.

Parkash S.,National Institute of Disaster Management
Annals of Geophysics | Year: 2012

In any profession, a basic set of moral values needs to be followed to comply with what we call ethics. Geoscientists have significant roles to play, more particularly in the field of geohazards, to appraise society about the possibilities of natural hazards such as landslides, avalanches, floods, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Geoscientists cannot only assess these hazards, but they can also estimate the potential consequences if these hazards occur in a given place and at a given time. However, sometimes it has been found that the credibility of geoscientists among society and government is lost, due to some unethical practices for shortterm gain, or due to incorrect understanding of geological phenomena. Some of the hazards that cannot be predicted with the existing capabilities have been forecast by some pseudo-geoscientists, to draw social/media attention, thereby bringing the reputation of the profession into disrepute. There is the need to be fair enough to accept the limitations of our profession in providing information about natural hazards that are not yet fully understood by the professionals themselves. More specifically, the predictions related to earthquakes have drawn the attention of society as well as media in the developing countries where the 'common' people have different perceptions. Most often, popular myths take over scientific facts among the public, and this can lead to rumors about natural hazards. This article will mention some cases of rumors about natural disasters, and particularly earthquakes, and the response of society, media and government. It emphasizes the role of geoscientists as the ethical responsibility to inform the public about the actual situations and the geohazards, to avoid panic caused by rumors from nonspecialists or hyperactive pseudo experts. This article indicates the recent rumors about a lake outburst, flash floods, and volcanic activities after a moderate earthquake (M 6.9, September 18, 2011) in the Sikkim State of India, and considers the actions taken by the geoscientific community to correctly inform people about the real situation. © 2012 by the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia. All rights reserved.

Parkash S.,National Institute of Disaster Management
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2015

Disaster management requires not only efficient technical, administrative, financial and legal systems within the affected community but also a strong political, socio-cultural and ethical framework. Although it is possible to improve the systems through the implementation of guidelines, plans, procedures, codes and other regulatory measures, it is difficult to change the attitude of the individuals, community, executives and the political leaders that affects the working environment and functional capabilities of these systems. In such situations, ethical practices and moral values play an important role in positively nurturing the environment. The experiences often reveal a lack of good cooperation, coordination and team spirit among different stakeholders, leading to unnecessary delays and inaction or wrong actions for disaster management. The approach is mostly ad-hoc, isolated and uncoordinated. There is hardly any networking, linkage and coordination to work in a multidisciplinary and integrated manner. However, the recent policies and strategies related to disaster risk reduction are now focusing on a systematic way of coordination, linkage and networking for sharing information on resources, knowledge and practices. This paper illustrates the relevant issues with examples from some popular stories/poems that will help the reader to understand the significance of these issues. © 2015 The Geological Society of London.

Parkash S.,National Institute of Disaster Management
Landslide Science and Practice: Social and Economic Impact and Policies | Year: 2013

Awareness and preparedness strategies are an essential component of community based disaster risk management. A sustained effort is required by the government, NGOs, Volunteers, electronic and print media through interactive meetings, audio-visuals, handbills/booklets/posters, competitions and quizzes, street-shows, mock drills and exercises for creating awareness among the public and preparing them to act appropriately for disaster risk reduction. Community involvement in disaster management cannot be overemphasized since it is usually the first victim as well as responder to a disaster and hence, its role in containing damage or loss is of prime significance. The community campaigns emphasize on the prevalent landslide risk and vulnerability of the exposed elements. It highlights the roles, responsibilities and standard operational procedures for risk reduction and response by the communities. Information, maps and illustrations containing status of landslide hazards, landslide indicators or precursors, precautionary measures, possible causes, suggestive remedial options and early warning signals are shared with the community in a layman's language. Communities are made aware of the likely major disasters that threaten the localities of immediate concern to them, and the projected disaster scenarios; the possible landslide hazard distribution and major known landslide spots. However, one of the most challenging tasks in landslides awareness and preparedness is the sensitization of all stakeholders, and their involvement in landslide risk management process. If the communities recognize the importance of landslides safety vis-à-vis developmental activities, tremendous gains can be achieved in landslide risk reduction. Therefore, a comprehensive awareness and preparedness campaign should be developed and implemented for following safe practices before, during and after a landslide. Landslide risk management should be done by applying locally available knowledge, expertise and resources customized to suit site specific situations. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.

Parkash S.,National Institute of Disaster Management
Landslide Science and Practice: Complex Environment | Year: 2013

Most parts of the Indian Himalaya fall in seismic zone V and IV, indicating a high degree of susceptibility to earthquakes. Although numerous studies on earthquake risk assessment have been done by different researchers yet very few of these studies and reports have focused on landslides related to earthquakes. It has been observed globally that many casualties during an earthquake in a hilly terrain are attributed to the incidences of landslides triggered by the earthquake and the response actions are also hurdled by the rockfalls/landslides along the highways. Field observations have indicated that such landslides are often associated with earthquakes of magnitude 4 or more. About 20-25 % losses during earthquakes in hilly terrains have been attributed to landslides. The earthquake triggered landslides have affected even the structures and buildings which were well constructed but adversely located in the ground. However, a perusal of seismic zonation studies indicate that landslides have not received due attention. Similarly most of the landslides hazard zonation studies do not consider the impacts of earthquakes in generating numerous and large landslides. Hence, the present paper emphasizes the significance of earthquake related landslides in the hilly terrains through experiences from the past incidences of landslides during earthquakes along with their impact and proposes its consideration in future earthquake risk management programmes as well as in landslides hazard zonation studies for effective risk reduction strategies. The significant earthquakes that affected the Himalayan terrain include Assam (1897), Kangra (1905), Bihar-Nepal (1934), Shillong (1950), Bihar-Nepal (1988), Uttarkashi (1991), Chamoli (1999), Kashmir (2005) etc., that caused heavy damages/losses as well as casualties which were found partly related to the ground and slope failures during these earthquakes. A study of landslides associated with earthquakes has lead to identification of morphological, lithological, tectonic, hydrological and landuse conditions that govern the occurrence of such landslides. For example, most of earthquake triggered landslides/rockfalls happened on convex slopes whereas rain-induced landslides are more common on concave slopes. The concentration of landslides and their size has also been found proportional to the magnitude of the earthquake to some extent. An attempt has also been made to differentiate freshly triggered and reactivated co-seismic landslides in earthquake affected areas as well as post-seismic landslides. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.

Parkash S.,National Institute of Disaster Management
Landslide Science and Practice: Social and Economic Impact and Policies | Year: 2013

The multifaceted aspects of landslide management, especially risk assessment, prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response require an inter-disciplinary cross-sectoral and multi-level action strategy. But the success of the strategy depends on education, training and capacity building of all stakeholders to make them act in an integrated manner towards a convergent holistic approach for mainstreaming landslides risk reduction and disaster management. The present paper discusses about the issues and initiatives proposed or taken in this direction, with particular reference to India. Education and training needs analysis of different stakeholders dealing with landslides led to the view that there is dearth of adequately educated and trained human resources as well as infra-structure/resources to tackle the various issues related to risk reduction, emergency response and recovery. A scrutiny of existing landslides management practices highlighted that only ad-hoc reactive piece-meal measures have been taken in a discontinuous mode without sound scientific, systematic means which proved to be a costly affair. Thus, a revision of the existing educational, training and capacity building programmes became necessary to strengthen the nation-wide organized vibrant pro-active, systematic and scientific institutional mechanism that would replace the less recognized and poorly appreciated existing system. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.

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