Monday 13 July 2015

Landslide Dams | New SOPs by MHA

Landslide Dam (

Why in news?
The home ministry has specified new standard operating procedures or SOPs to monitor the dams, which are also created mainly due to earthquakes, leading to a natural damming of a river by mass wasting.

What are Landslide dams?

Why this move by MHA?
The threat of severe earthquakes in the Himalayan region close on the heels of the devastating one in Nepal, as indicated by several scientific studies, has prompted India to put hundreds of landslide dams or LSDs under constant monitoring so that they do not break with catastrophic consequences.

What is the SOP?

  • According to the new SOPs, LSDs frequently fail catastrophically and lead to flooding, often with high casualties, due to their rather loose nature and absence of controlled spillway. 
  • The new procedures are aimed at averting or mitigating the threats emanating from LSDs on rivers, according to the document.
  • The Centre has roped in the National Remote Sensing Centre, Central Water Commission and the Indian Air Force as part of the new SOPs to ensure continuous monitoring of the quantity of water flow of all major rivers in the upper reaches by visual, instrumental, aerial and satellite surveillance, and ascertaining the cause of a reduced water flow at the earliest. 
  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will monitor any intervention, if required, by building of a channel to manage the LSD.
  • The SOPs include controlled use of explosives to break the compacted earth mass of the LSD using the expertise of Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, BRO and Army Engineers.
[Source: Times of India]


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