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Prognosis and mitigation strategy for major landslide-prone areas Varunavat Parvat landslide in Uttarkashi

Prognosis and mitigation strategy for major landslide-prone areas A case study of Varunavat Parvat landslide in Uttarkashi township of Uttarakhand (India)

Waste management

Waste management Clear-cut policy should be formulated for the waste management of hill slopes particularly for the planned disposal of debris material generated from the slope cutting or digging for construction activity. As the slope cut debris not only blocks the natural drains butevengives rise tonewslide zones anddamages agriculture andforestresources of the immediate down slope area. Separate funds for planned disposal of road cut debris should be allocated to the agencies (such as Public Works Department) involved in the road construction work. Furthermore, the expenditure to be incurred by the concerned department for the disposal of slope cut/ road cut debris should be proposed in the project estimate itself. This measure can substantially reduce the risk of landslides and subsidence to the immediate upslope and down slope areas of newly constructed hill roads and can also minimize the annual maintenance cost of hill roads. Avoidance of ground-water harvesting structures in the old slide zones Recharge wells and ground-water harvesting structures should be avoided in the upslope areas of old and active slide zones wherein habitations or critical facilities are located (over old slide zones). Rainfall database creation Detailed database for rainfall needs to be created in an attempt to workout the threshold amount of rainfall that might cause slide or debris flow in the near future. For this purpose there is an urgent need to increase the number of rain gaze stations in hill districts. Landslide risk mapping at municipality ward and village level Landslide hazard zoning at municipality ward and village Level on 1:4000 and larger scale should be carried out through conjunctive use of high resolution satellite image of IKONOS, QUICKBIRD, CARTOSAT 1 and CARTOSAT 2 satellites and precision ground surveys using Total Station. Furthermore, the GIS techniques can be best utilized for vulnerability assessment by overlaying the thematic layers of population, infrastructure, assets and natural resources over the landslide hazard zone maps of the area. Risk maps at municipality ward and village Level should be created by relating the landslide hazard potential and vulnerability of the area. Risk maps can provide information about the likelihood, dimension, extent and degree to which the communities in the area may be affected by landslides. References Agarwal, N.C. and Kumar, G. (1973), “Geology of the upper Bhagirathi and Yamuna valleys, Uttarkashi district, Garhwal Himalaya”, Himalayan Geology, Vol. 3, pp. 2-23. Census of India 2001 (2004), Census of India 2001, Office of Registrar-General, New Delhi. Central Technical Team (2003), “Interim report on Varunavat landslide, Uttarkashi (Uttaranchal)”, unpublished technical report, Central Technical Team, Governement of India, New Delhi. DMMC (2003), “Final report on landslide affected Gyansu and Tambakhari area of Uttarkashi”, Technical Report No. DMMCUttarkashi:2003:1-570, unpublished tech. report of Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, Dehradun. Prognosis and mitigation strategy 643

DPM 17,5 644 Jain, A.K. (1971), “Stratigraphy and tectonics of Lesser Himalayan region of Uttarkashi, Garhwal Himalaya”, Himalayan Geology, Vol. 1, pp. 25-58. Jayan, T.V. (2004), “Ready to roll: debris into Karnaprayag”, Down to Earth, Vol. 13 No. 14, Centre for Science and Environment 41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi, pp. 36-7. Northmore, K.J., Hobbs, P.R.N., Charalambous, M. and Petrides, G. (1988), “Complex landslides in the Kannavi or Melange and Mamonia formation of South-West Cyprus”, in Bonnard, C. (Ed.), Landslides: Glissements de Terrain, Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Landslides, Vol. 1, A.A. Balkema Publishers, Brookfield, WI. NRSA (2001), Atlas on Landslide Hazard Zonation Mapping in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand and Himanchal Pradesh States using Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques, Vol 1, Uttarakhand, National Remote Sensing Agency, Dept. of Space, Govt. of India, Hyderabad. NRSA (2004), “Aerial data analysis of Uttarkashi landslide Uttarakhand (Part-1)”, unpublished technical report of National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad. Shah, S.D. and Nagarajan, R. (2004), “Geological structural and tectonical aspects of landslide”, in Nagrajan, R. (Ed.), Landslide Disaster Assessment and Monitoring, Amol Publication Pvt, Ltd, New Delhi. Uniyal, A. (2004), “Landslides at Karnaprayag: another Uttarkashi in the making ?”, Current Science, Vol. 87 No. 8, pp. 1031-3. Uniyal, A. and Prasad, C. (2006), “Disaster management strategy for mass wasting hazard prone Naitwar Bazar and surrounding areas in Upper Tons valleys in Uttarkashi district, Uttaranchal (India)”, Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 821-37. Uniyal, A. and Rautela, P. (2005), “Disaster management strategy for avoiding landslide induced losses to the villages in the vicinity of the Himalayan township of Mussoorie in Uttarakhand (India)”, Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 378-87. Uniyal, A., Pande, R.K. and Gupta, N.K. (2004), “Uttarkashi landslide of Uttarakhand (India)”. paper presented at the session on Landslide Hazard Mitigation (Session C-3), World Congress on Natural Disaster Mitigation organized by the Indian Institute of Engineers (India) under the aegis of World Federation of Engineering Organization, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, 19-22 February. Valdiya, K.S. (1985), “Accelerated erosion and landslide prone zones in the Himalayan region”, in Singh, J.S. (Ed.), Environmental Regeneration in Himalaya CHEA, Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital, pp. 12-38. Valdiya, K.S. (1987), Environmental Geology Indian Context, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Delhi. Valdiya, K.S. (1991), “The Uttarkashi earthquake of 20th October: implications and lessons”, Current Science, Vol. 61, pp. 801-3. Valdiya, K.S. (2001), HIMALAYA: Emergence and Evolution, Universities Press (India) Ltd, Hyderguda, Hyderabad. Valdiya, K.S. (2004), Understanding Earthquakes and Landslides: Preparing for Hazard, Seismology Division, Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi. Corresponding author Aniruddh Uniyal can be contacted at: To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: Or visit our web site for further details:

Disaster management strategy for potential slide zones of Kumarkhera in Narendra Nagar township of Tehri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand, India