Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 2

Search results for: Uttarakhand Himalaya

2 Cloudburst-Triggered Natural Hazards in Uttarakhand Himalaya: Mechanism, Prevention, and Mitigation

Authors: Vishwambhar Prasad Sati

Abstract:

This article examines cloudburst-triggered natural hazards mainly flashfloods and landslides in the Uttarakhand Himalaya. It further describes mechanism and implications of natural hazards and illustrates the preventive and mitigation measures. We conducted this study through collection of archival data, case study of cloudburst hit areas, and rapid field visit of the affected regions. In the second week of August 2017, about 50 people died and huge losses to property were noticed due to cloudburst-triggered flashfloods. Our study shows that although cloudburst triggered hazards in the Uttarakhand Himalaya are natural phenomena and unavoidable yet, disasters can be minimized if preventive measures are taken up appropriately. We suggested that construction of human settlements, institutions and infrastructural facilities along the seasonal streams and the perennial rivers should be avoided to prevent disasters. Further, large-scale tree plantation on the degraded land will reduce the magnitude of hazards.

Keywords: Cloudburst, flashfloods, landslides, fragile landscape, Uttarakhand Himalaya.

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1 Ethno-Botanical Diversity and Conservation Status of Medicinal Flora at High Terrains of Garhwal (Uttarakhand) Himalaya, India: A Case Study in Context to Multifarious Tourism Growth and Peri-Urban Encroachments

Authors: Aravind Kumar

Abstract:

The high terrains of Garhwal (Uttarakhand) Himalaya are the niches of a number of rare and endemic plant species of great therapeutic importance. However, the wild flora of the area is still under a constant threat due to rapid upsurge in human interferences, especially through multifarious tourism growth and peri-urban encroachments. After getting the status of a ‘Special State’ of the country since its inception in the year 2000, this newly borne State led to very rapid infrastructural growth and development. Consequently, its townships started expanding in an unmanaged way grabbing nearby agricultural lands and forest areas into peri-urban landscapes. Simultaneously, a boom in tourism and pilgrimage in the state and the infrastructural facilities raised by the government for tourists/pilgrims are destroying its biodiversity. Field survey revealed 242 plant species of therapeutic significance naturally growing in the area and being utilized by local inhabitants as traditional medicines. On conservation scale, 6 species (2.2%) were identified as critically endangered, 19 species (7.1%) as the endangered ones, 8 species (3.0%) under rare category, 17 species (6.4%) as threatened and 14 species (5.2%) as vulnerable. The Government of India has brought mega-biodiversity hot spots of the state under Biosphere Reserve, National Parks, etc. restricting all kinds of human interferences; however, the two most sacred shrines of Hindus and Sikhs viz. Shri Badrinath and Shri Hemkunt Sahib, and two great touristic attractions viz. Valley of Flowers and Auli-Joshimath Skiing Track oblige the government to maintain equilibrium between entries of visitors vis-à-vis biodiversity conservation in high terrains of Uttarakhand Himalaya.

Keywords: Biodiversity conservation, ethno-botany, Garhwal (Uttarakhand) Himalaya, peri-urban encroachment, pilgrimage and tourism.

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