Uttarakhand, the northern Indian state famous for its tourist and pilgrimage destinations nestled in the Himalayan Mountains, is also recognized for its natural hazards, such as landslides, earthquakes, floods and forest fires. In June 2013, heavy rainfall – over 800 mm in the capital, Dehradun, for example – coupled with the bursting of the Chorabari glacier moraine, resulted in flash floods, extensive landslides, and debris flow. More than 5,000 people were reported missing, 4,200 villages affected, destroying over 3,000 homes, and damaging 1,000 public buildings, 9,000 km of road, and 225 bridges.
To take on the hazards that caused this destruction, new ideas on slope stabilization and landslide management and prevention are needed. The Government of Uttarakhand, with support from the Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries, through the World Bank Disaster Risk Management Hub, Tokyo, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), organized the International Symposium on "Tackling the Challenge of Slope Stabilization & Landslide Prevention" at the Civil Services Institute in Dehradun on April 27-29, 2015.
Experts, policy makers, and practitioners gathered from around the world to share their knowledge and experience in landslide mitigation, prevention, and stabilization. Participants also considered and proposed new solutions for slope stabilization in Uttarakhand.
The symposium is part of the country program grant for “Improving Service Delivery of DRM in India,” which is helping strengthen DRM capacity and awareness of India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs), as well as improve DRM service delivery.
❖ More photos are available on the photo page.