Finally, after five days gridlock, the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway (NH-1A) has been opened to traffic, on Feb 17, 2018, but only for one side. The all weather road was closed since February 12, 2018 following landslides at multiple locations along Bichleri (Bichiari) stream (a tributary of Chenab River) between Banihal and Ramban area. The highway was briefly re-opened for traffic on February 14 only to be closed again on February 15, due to recurring landslides.
We have narrated below some details of the landslides along Jammu Srinagar Highway in Feb 2018 as well as earlier since 2011.
“Bolo Jai Jai Baba Bhole”, the Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi, while speaking at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand in Oct 2017[i], asked the people in audience to chant with him. Indian deity Mahadev, the presiding deity at Kedarnath on the banks of Mandakini river is possibly the closest to rivers and nature among all the deities, as is also clear from his attire. Baba Bhole is one of the many names of this deity. Incidentally, the massive, controversial Pancheshwar Dam a pet project of Mr Modi will also submerge the Pancheshwar Mahadev Temple, where too, the presiding deity is same Bhole Baba. But we will come back to Bhole Baba. Continue reading “Who exactly needs the Pancheshwar Dam?”→
Contrary to common mindset that Yamuna River is still flowing pristine in Himalaya, an exploratory visit (23-27 June 2015) inside Yamuna Valley underlines that construction of 120 MW Vyashi Hydro Electric Project report, proposed 300 MW Lakhwar dam and Katapathar Barrage is compromising the existence of the special river in its very homeland. The report also highlights that the river stretch where all these projects are coming up is prone to large scale landslides. It was also found that downstream community is unaware of environmental flow and the project developers are tight lipped on impact these projects over aquatic biodiversity. Road expansion work upstream these projects is dumping tonnes of debris into river, in complete violation of all norms (neither state nor central government seem bothered about these violations by the government agencies) further lifting up the already escalated riverbed. The perennial natural springs are gradually drying up in the area. Impact of all these impacts and threats on River Yamuna and riparian community still remain unstudied and unaddressed.