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| Last Updated:13/04/2021

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Big glacial lakes in Himalayan region worrisome

 Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 28

The increasing number of glacial lakes in the Sutlej, Ravi, Beas and Chenab basins in the Himalayan region could be a potential threat to human life in the downstream areas, necessitating the need for greater alertness and disaster preparedness. A study undertaken for 2019 by the State Centre on Climate Change under the aegis of the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment says the formation of these lakes, especially the bigger ones, need to be monitored constantly. “Besides this, other lakes in each basin with an area between 5-10 hectares can also cause considerable damage if anyone of these bursts,” the study indicates.

The findings based on satellite data indicate formation of moraine-dammed glacial lakes due to the melting of Himalayan glaciers. The higher number of smaller lakes with area less than 5 hectares suggests that the effect of the climatic variations is more pronounced on Himalayan glaciers. In 2000, Himachal suffered Rs 800 crore loss due to floods in the Sutlej.



What is more worrisome is the increase in the number of bigger lakes (covering more than 10 hectares) in the river basins.

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