Himachal Pradesh has had six more landslides in the last two years, according to a government report
According to statistics gathered by the disaster management department, the number of large landslides in Himachal Pradesh increased by a factor of six over the course of the last two years, with 117 happening in 2022 as opposed to 16 in 2020.
Throughout the state, there are 17,120 landslide-prone locations, 675 of which are close to vital infrastructure and habitations. Chamba (133) has the most such locations, followed by Mandi (110), Kangra (102) Lahaul and Spiti (91), Una (63), Kullu (55), Shimla (50), Solan (44), Bilaspur (37), Sirmaur (21) and Kinnaur (15).
The major cause of the large number of landslides, according to experts, is high intensity rainfall combined with cutting of hill slopes or rocks in the foothills. Prof. Virender Singh Dhar, a geology specialist, noted the extensive cutting of hill slopes for building and road expansion, blasting for tunnels, hydro projects, and mining as causes for the rise in landslides.
Rainfall has decreased in duration while increasing in intensity. According to climate change scientist Suresh Attre, high temperatures and heavy rains may cause landslides because they loosen the strata in areas where foothills have been cut downstream.
Of of the 117 large landslides that were seen in 2022, Kullu reported the most, at 21, followed by Mandi at 20, Lahaul and Spiti at 18, Shimla at 15, Lahaul and Spiti at 14, Sirmaur at 9, Bilapsur at 8, Kangra at 5, Kinnaur at 3, Solan at 1, and Una at 1, but not Hamirpur.
According to Special Secretary for Disaster Management Sudesh Mokta, the monsoon season was when the majority of slides were seen. According to a former bureaucrat, increased human activity and the exploitation of natural resources for development have created a severe danger to ecology.
The major active landslides/sinking sites in the state included villages Jhandota and Kakroti and Sapdoth Panchayat in Chamba, Mcleodganj hill and Bariara village in Kangra, Baridhar to Kalyan Ghati road, Mansar near Salogra and Jabalpatwar village in Solan, Kotrupi, Doada Hanogi, 5, 6 and 7 mile near Pandoh and village Nagani in Mandi district.
Along with Nigulsari, where 28 people lost their lives and 13 were wounded in a significant landslide on August 11, 2021, the other places are Urni Dhank, Batsari, Nesang, and Purbani Julha in Kinnaur. Ten at most of these locations have been located in the Shimla district. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will produce a concept paper outlining treatments to lessen and avoid landslides that happen as a result of the growth of roads in the state, and Rs 300 crore would be spent on corrective measures, according to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.
All 12 of Himachal's districts are prone to landslides, according to the National Remote Sensing Center's Landslide Atlas of India.
The Mandi district of Himachal was ranked 16th in the landslide exposure analysis that was conducted in the mountainous areas covering 147 districts in 17 states, followed by Hamirpur 25, Bilaspur 30, Chamba 32, Solan 37, Kinnaur 46, Kullu 57, Shimla 61, Kangra 62, Una 70, Sirmaur 88, and Lahaul and Spiti 126.
In light of the frequent landslides, early warning and land monitoring systems are being implemented in certain areas of the state, according to authorities. These systems would provide information about landslide activity in advance.