Y.S. RANA, Dharampur (Mandi-HP)— Floods cannot be distressing these are part of the natural climatic cycle of warming and cooling, says Dr Ritesh Arya, renowned international Geologist. Distress these are part of the natural climatic cycle of warming and cooling. These follow their path which has been described since time immemorial. In the past the floods might have happened and things could have been more sever in the past. But these major flooding events remained unnoticed because there was no encroachment on the rivers or seasonal nullah in the past. But the frequency of cloudburst in the recent past is a matter of worry.
Dr Ritesh Arya Guinness World record who had earlier proposed Aryas C cycle based on geological and geo morphological evidences discovered by him in the Higher Himalayas. According to his finding we are presently in middle of half warming cycle which is of 699 years. The process of warming will continue though the intensity will decrease. This process of cooling will start in 22nd century culminating in little ICE age in 2334.
But with major village and town expansions of the habitations on the banks of rivers streams and Nalhas the concept of flash floods which is necessary part of the natural climate cycle has become a villain for the modern habitations which have sprung up near the rivers and stream. The greed of the man short sited vision of the politicians and absence of geoscientists in the hill state is causing loss of public property and constant threat to life.
He feels that residents of Dharampur will never be able to sleep on the banks of Son Khad with same ease in future. He finds similarity of cloudburst in Leh in 2010 and recent event in Mandi and adds that this process will keep on increasing in the next few decades.
He regretted that politicians and bureaucrats were giving contradicting statements but hardly any comment from the Geoscientist or the scientist who could be really commenting on this phenomenon. This shows the vacuum and inefficiency of the entire political system in which there are hardly any experts/ scientists who are studying this flash flood phenomenon which are bound to increase in decades to come in this century. In coastal regions we will have cyclones and in mountains we have flash floods.
Local MLA and senior BJP leader Mahinder Singh Thakur said that water level rose 8 feet above danger level. “Cloud burst has resulted into the flash flood,” he added. Mandi deputy commissioner Sandeep Kadam said that three people were buried under the debris at Sanehr panchayat of Dharamapur sub division. He said that it was not the cloud burst but heavy rainfall that resulted into the flash flood.
Based on a detailed study and analysis for past decade, he attributed it in the region to climate change. He says that data sequence of events of weather for the past ten years indicates that increased temperature in plains and prolonged winters in the region causes subsequent cloudburst.
Presently we are in warming phase of climate cycle and with major glaciers in Himalayas extinct or on the verge of extinction. Water from snow melt is contributing and steady pace to the major rivers in the north India but due to heavy rains the discharge in the rivers become very erratic and the situation worsens in summers when the glaciers melting is at its peak.
Dr Arya said that winters were found to be prolonged and even the state witnessed snowfall in summers. Also, the analysis by the research institute under the Defence Ministry was done to look into the reasons that triggered the cloudburst in the Leh region on Ladakh, which is usually considered unnatural because it is a rain shadow area. All the flooding which happened on 8 Aug 2015 in Dharampur Himachal and 5-6 August 2010 in Leh are reminders that these floods are not at all distressing as the politicians put but part of natural climate cycle. Need of the hour is to set up a special geological wing dedicated to study these floods and prepare a detailed report on the effects of these floods on the already existing towns and villages located on the banks of rivers or streams.
Dr Ritesh Arya is confident that if study is conducted it will be proved beyond doubt that a number of government buildings in the State are built on the geologically unsafe areas as we see the bus stand in the recent flooding in Dharampur and later the civil population follows suit. So the entire responsibility lies on the government for unwisely using the tax payer money and constructing Public property in geologically unstable location which are fragile even to small flash floods.
Need of the Hour is to frame a Flash Flood Management policy without any Political interference so that sustainable geological sites form the basis on which our future generations should live fearlessly.
Dharampur as we can see in the google map Bus stand is seen built on encroaching river bed