Distinct geological factors contribute to landslides in the Himalayan region and Western Ghats. The Himalayas face challenges from tectonic activities, intense rainfall, and glacial melting, while the Western Ghats contend with heavy monsoons, steep slopes, and soil erosion. Unique topographies necessitate tailored mitigation strategies in each region.
UPSC Mains General Studies Paper – 1 Mains 2021
- Start with a brief intro of keyword “landslides” with the context of causes of landslides in Himalayan region and Western Ghats.
- Discuss the unique causes which are associated with the particular Himalayan region and Western Ghats( must draw a map of India showing vulnerability of landslides).
- conclusion/way forward accordingly.
- A landslide is characterised as the downward movement of a significant mass of rocks, debris, or earth along a slope. This phenomenon falls under the category of mass wasting, which encompasses any gravitational movement of soil and rock downhill. Himalayas and the Western Ghats regions are known for their diverse and challenging topography, which contributes to the occurrence of landslides.
The causes of landslides in the Himalayan region and Western Ghats: Landslides are caused due to three major factors: geology, morphology, and human activity. The Himalayan region and the Western Ghats have unique characteristics that contribute to the causes of landslides in each area.
- Himalayan Region:
- Geology: The Himalayas are young and geologically active mountains, making them prone to landslides. Tectonic activity, including the constant movement of the Indian plate, leads to instability and rock fracturing, increasing the risk of landslides.
- Morphology: Steep and sharp slopes are common in the Himalayas, which are vulnerable to erosion and slope failures. Heavy rainfall and seismic events further contribute to landslides in this region.
- Anthropogenic Factors: Deforestation, particularly for agriculture and construction, weakens the slopes and removes vegetation that helps stabilise the soil. Unplanned infrastructure development and improper land-use practices can disrupt natural drainage patterns, exacerbating landslide risks.
- Western Ghats:
- Geology: The Western Ghats are considered relatively stable compared to the Himalayas. However, localised areas within the Western Ghats may experience landslides due to specific geological conditions, such as the presence of weak rock formations.
- Anthropogenic Factors: Human activities can impact the stability of the Western Ghats. Intensive mining operations can weaken the natural structure of the land, while deforestation for settlements and road construction can destabilise slopes and increase landslide susceptibility.
- Hence, The occurrence of landslides has increasingly become a significant challenge in recent years, primarily due to human activities and Anthropogenic factors. By adopting sustainable development practices and policies we can minimise the adverse impact of human activities on slope stability. Recommendations of Kasturirangan/ Madhav Gadgil reports and guidelines of NDMA on landslides need to be followed.
In case you still have your doubts, contact us on 9811333901.
For UPSC Prelims Resources, Click here
For Daily Updates and Study Material:
Join our Telegram Channel – Edukemy for IAS
- 1. Learn through Videos – here
- 2. Be Exam Ready by Practicing Daily MCQs – here
- 3. Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – here
- 4. Mains Answer Writing Practice – here