Uttarakhand to get research institute, more Met stations

 A year after the Uttarakhand devastation, the government is planning to set up a research institute on glacier at Mussorie besides  launching an advanced remote sensing satellite and installation of a large number of meteorological observation stations around the Char Dham to better equip the state tackle any future natural calamities.

These are some of the components of a plan that the Planning Commission and eight scientific departments of the central government have prepared to chip in the Uttarakhand reconstruction programme.

The devastating deluge ravaged large tracts of the state including the pilgrimage sites of Kedarnath and Badrinath killing more than 5,000 people.

Proposed to be built at a cost of Rs 211 crore, the National Centre on Himalayan Glaciers is likely to come up in the Castle Hill area of Mussorie, once it receives the financial approval.

Other strategies envisaged in the plan include multi-hazard risk zoning, better land use planning and regulating the tourist inflow in a sustainable way. “The idea is to do the risk profiling and give scientific inputs to the state government and implementing agencies on the restoration effort. This can be done in the next one and half years,” T Ramasami, secretary, department of science and technology told Deccan Herald.

The plan on scientific intervention in reconstruction work has been integrated with the Rs 550 crore National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, which is one of the eight missions under the Prime Minister’s National Missions on Climate Change.

Geo-morphological mapping would be undertaken in six river valleys – Mandakini, Alakananda, Yamuna, Bhagirathi, Pindar and Kali. Several Himalayan universities have been roped in for the task.

“We plan to map the landslide prone areas where flooding can cause damage so that constructions in those areas can be blocked. We will use satellite images and GIS (geographical information system) platforms,” said K Kasturirangan, member, Planning Commission.

The National Remote Sensing Centre at Hyderabad would carry out the landslide inventory for Char Dham – Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri – and Pindar valley.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences have a Rs 110 crore plan to install a dense network of instruments for collecting weather data, which include seven Doppler weather radars, five micro-rain radars, 75 automatic weather stations including the rain and snow gauges.

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