Hi guest, Register | Login | Contact Us
Welcome to Phayul.com - Our News Your Views
Sun 18, Aug 2019 10:15 AM (IST)
Search:     powered by Google
 MENU
Home
News
Photo News
Opinions
Statements &
Press Releases

Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Interviews
Travels
Health
Obituaries
News Discussions
News Archives
Download photos from Tibet
 Latest Stories
Integrate but don’t assimilate: CTA President at the inaugural ceremony of the Second 5-50 Youth Forum
Standoff between protestors and police in Hong Kong continues into 11th week
Case No. 20 reviews procedure of Representative’s dismissal
Three monks from restive Ngaba held incommunicado in Chinese prison
His Holiness gives teachings to devotees in Manali
Luxury brands Versace, Coach and Givenchy apologize to China
“Internal matter” says India after China objects to Kashmir issue
First Tibetan Youth Icon Award presented to Toronto Tibet activist
Dalai Lama leaves for Manali to rest until end of August
Case no. 20 reviews if the plaintiff tried to dissuade the female Kalon nominee
 Latest Photo News
Nearly 3000 Students from eight countries listened to teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Three day annual teachings for youth began today. June 3, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being escorted to the teaching site at Tsuglakhang temple, May 13, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
More than a thousand Tibetans, Uyghurs and supporters protest in Paris to denounce China's repression in Tibet. Xi Jinping will be on an official visit to France from Monday. Under a canopy of flags with snow lions, protesters marched from the Trocadero Human Rights Square to the Peace Wall at the other end of the Champ de Mars. 25 March 2019. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
more photos »
Advertisement
Tibet lake a weapon in China's hand?
PTI[Sunday, August 15, 2004 04:14]
Dr Jayaraman

New Delhi, August 14 - The threat of a lake burst in Tibet portending a catastrophic flood in Himachal Pradesh has exposed India's vulnerability to environmental warfare where nature's forces are manipulated to create deadly weapons, a senior defence official has said.

The unfolding drama in the Himalayas has also, for the second time, punched holes in India's satellite surveillance system despite the country having a fleet of remote sensing satellites.

The SSS first came under criticism during the Kargil war for its inability to spot Pakistani movements. In the present case, Indian government woke up only after a warning from China on August 11.

Indians do not know what is blocking the Pareechu river that has created the artificial lake, but China has said rocks from a natural landslide caused the blockage.

"This may very well be true, but whatever the cause, the lake burst offers China a test case to study the effect of this new kind of environmental weapon - a lake bomb," the defence scientist told PTI on condition of anonymity.

Denial of permission for Indians to visit the site, conflicting information from China about the lake parameters, and the Chinese warning to India a month after the supposed "landslide", heighten suspicion that the impending lake burst is being treated as an experiment, the scientist said.

Analysis of the archived imageries of the region by Indian defence scientists has shown that the place, which is a lake now, was a catchment area from where water used to flow freely.

This area has turned into a reservoir threatening to break through the rock barrier. P Perumal, a hydrologist at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, said the lake burst would have horrific effects, as water is likely to rush down the hilly slope through a narrow gorge.

"It will not be like floods in the plains where water can spread out," he said on telephone. "What one can expect is a huge wall of water moving in bulk without its height getting diminished."

Its weight, combined with gravitational pull (Himachal is below Tibet), will flatten everything on the route for several kilometers in just a few hours, he added.

According to defence analysts, danger posed by the lake in Tibet is just the tip of the iceberg. India's geographical location at the foot of the Himalayas makes it vulnerable to "environmental attacks" from the numerous glaciers precariously perched atop the mountain range.

These mountains of ice can be "toppled" by remote triggering with explosives or their melting accelerated by covering them with carbon black to enable them to absorb more sunlight. This could result in flooding of the Gangetic plains, the scientist said.

The analysts said Chinese scientists had been extensively mapping the Himalayan glaciers for nearly three decades with the help from the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development in Katmandhu.

Over 46,000 highland glaciers exist in Asia, most of them in the Himalayas, and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences is dedicated to glacier studies.

Officials of the National Remote Sensing Agency in Hyderabad, however, denied allegations that they "goofed up."

Responding to a question why India was not forewarned by its own scientists, NRSA director R R Navalgund, told PTI: "NRSA provided relevant information/images to the concerned authorities in the second fortnight of July itself" before the alert from China.

Navalgund did not name the agencies that received this piece of intelligence, but Science and Technology Secretary Valangiman Ramamurthi said he did not know about NRSA's warning.

He, however, said the information was perhaps given to other agencies.

India has numerous disaster mitigation units functioning under different ministries including agriculture, water resources and science and technology, not to speak of the newly set National Disaster Mitigation Center in New Delhi.

NRSA's imageries taken in July should have alarmed at least one of these agencies.

Sources in NRSA told PTI that the agency should not be blamed even if it had overlooked the crucial satellite imageries.

"NRSA cannot and does not process every image it gets from the satellites. It is the job of the user agencies," they said, adding that NRSA does not normally look at imageries outside India's borders.

Manoj Datta, a professor of civil engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, said technology options -- such as tunneling through rocks or sending divers to carry out controlled blasting to open an exit for water -- are available to prevent a disaster of this kind.

Kapil Gupta, professor of water resources engineering at IIT, Mumbai, believes that a joint Indo-Chinese strategy in the
early phase could have averted the event from reaching the crisis stage.

"There is expertise in India in the academic institutions and in the defence department but we cannot offer any solution without knowing the geology of the place or the actual nature of the rock material blocking the river. So the only option
for us is to move the people."

Datta, however, cautioned that even if the artificial wall that this holding the lake water survived the current rainy season, its long-term stability is not assured.

"In any case, whatever is blocking the river must ultimately be removed because otherwise water supply to the Sutlej river may get reduced," Gupta added.
Print Send Bookmark and Share
  Readers' Comments »
wake up INDIA. (Lobsang Dhondup)
See thorough Chinese Deception (Pema)
India is waking, but hybernate in reality! (freelance)
Your Comments

 Other Stories
Tibet Festival Highlights Issue of Religious Freedom
China signals talks unlikely with Dalai Lama
Tibetans say dangerous lake result of China's development work
Advertisement
Advertisement
Photo Galleries
Advertisement
Phayul.com does not endorse the advertisements placed on the site. It does not have any control over the google ads. Please send the URL of the ads if found objectionable to editor@phayul.com
Copyright © 2004-2019 Phayul.com   feedback | advertise | contact us
Powered by Lateng Online
Advertisement