Scientists hold humans responsible for cloud bursts in Kullu valley

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Kullu: Frequent incidents of cloudbursts, especially in the last two weeks, in Kullu district are giving sleepless nights to people living in disaster prone areas. Scientists believe that excessive human interference with nature was the main cause of such calamities.

Scars of cloudburst having wrecked havoc in the last two weeks are visible all over the district. On July 16th a cloudburst hit Sambha at Sainj valley, On 17th July, it was Panchnala at Gadasa valley, Lapas and Thosko at Manikaran valley and Chhakinala of Upper valley bore the fury, on July 22nd Shenshar of Sainj was struck by a cloudburst, on 24th July it was Ghalingacha village of Mashiyar Panchayat of Banjar and Chayal Panchayat of Nirmand and on 25th July a cloudburst struck Jibhi of Banjar and Nohanda of Tirthan valley.

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Not the usual monsoon rains, but concentrated downpours over a limited catchment area, causing massive flows, erosion and loss to life and agriculture property are typical of these cloudburst occurring in many parts of Himachal Pradesh, but the frequency and intensity in Kullu district is on the higher side.

In many areas agricultural land, cattle heads, roads have been washed away by nature’s fury and at many places houses too have been damaged. Possibility of more such incidents occurring is not being ruled out till the end of the monsoons.

Locals say that cloudbursts were not only destroying crops and agricultural land but also hampering transport services by damaging roads which was proving harmful for orchardists owners as they were unable to market their produce due to roads breaking down.

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Dr. JC Kuniyal, senior scientist at GB Pant institition of Himalayan Environment and Development, Mohal, Kullu says, ā€œ During the past years frequency of cloudbursts’ incidents have increased a lot. Increasing human interference was adversary impacting the ecology. Deforestation leads to landslides during torrential rainfall or cloudbursts, multiplies loss caused by rain, and if we want to avoid such disaster, interference with nature should be stopped immediately.ā€

Rakesh Kanwar, Depty Commissioner (DC) Kullu when contacted by Hill Post put the loss caused by the recent cloudbursts at Rs 2.50 crore.

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A theater artist, a script writer and a TV anchor, news is something that grips Renuka. She lives in Kullu.

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