NGT recommendations for Thathri

A Joint Committee, appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), has put forward a proposal to utilize geospatial mapping for identifying Thathri-type foot slope zones across the entirety of Doda District. The objective of this committee, led by the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, is to employ advanced technologies to effectively plan and manage civil engineering projects in the region. The primary aim is to prevent environmental damage by avoiding future construction in unsuitable areas.
Geospatial mapping, as suggested by the committee, allows the analysis of data within a geographic context. By overlaying different layers of information, such as land use, population density, and environmental factors, it becomes possible to identify relationships, trends, and patterns that can inform planning and decision-making. Geospatial mapping assists urban planners in designing and managing cities more effectively. It enables the analysis of population distribution, transportation networks, land use patterns, and environmental factors. This information supports sustainable urban development, infrastructure planning, and the provision of public services.
The steps suggested by the committee are important measures to safeguard people and mitigate the risks associated with slope instability. However, the effectiveness of these steps in ensuring complete safety depends on various factors, such as the accuracy of the assessments, the implementation of the recommendations, and ongoing monitoring and maintenance efforts. It is crucial to consider that slope stability is a complex issue influenced by multiple factors, and no solution can guarantee absolute safety.
That being said, the committee’s recommendations address significant aspects such as monitoring, prohibition of further construction in affected areas, relocation of residents, construction of retention walls and gabion walls, restoration of natural diversions and drainage channels, geotechnical assessments, and the creation of a geo-portal for better planning and monitoring. These measures, if properly implemented and supported by continuous monitoring and maintenance, can contribute to reducing risks and improving the safety of the affected area.
However, it is important to acknowledge that slope instability can be influenced by evolving geological and environmental conditions as well as unpredictable natural events like earthquakes or extreme weather events. Therefore, ongoing monitoring, periodic reassessment, and adaptive management strategies are essential to ensure the continued safety of the area and its inhabitants.
Ensuring the safety of Thathri like areas and effectively addressing the issues related to slope instability requires close coordination between different departments, agencies, and stakeholders. Given the complexity of the situation and the range of factors involved, collaboration and coordination are essential for a comprehensive and integrated approach to safeguard the area. Different departments and institutions possess specialised knowledge, expertise, and resources in various areas related to slope stability, geology, engineering, hydrology, and disaster management. Coordination allows for the pooling of these resources, enabling a more holistic and informed decision-making process. Effective coordination allows for comprehensive planning that takes into account the diverse aspects of slope stability, including land-use regulations, construction practices, drainage systems, erosion control, and monitoring mechanisms. This integrated planning approach ensures that all relevant factors are considered and addressed. Coordination is vital for ensuring that the recommendations and regulations put forth by the committee are effectively implemented and enforced. Different departments play a role in overseeing compliance with building codes, environmental regulations, and safety standards, which collectively contribute to safeguarding the area. This integrated planning approach ensures that all relevant factors are considered and addressed.
The challenges posed by slope instability in Thathri require a multi-dimensional and collaborative approach. Coordination between different departments, agencies, and stakeholders is vital to maximise the collective expertise, resources, and efforts towards safeguarding the area and minimising the risks to the population. NGT has taken the timely initiative, parsed the data, and come up with certain recommendations. It is imperative for the administration to ensure the timely implementation of all the recommendations before the onset of the monsoon season to prevent any unforeseen incidents. Proactively taking precautionary measures on time is always a prudent and commendable approach.