Shimla: With rising global temperature, glaciers in Himalayas are retreating at an alarming rate of 15-20 metre every year, which could adversly impact agriculture in the region.
Mapping of 400 glaciers done jointly by the Himachal Pradesh Science and Technology Council and Space Research Station Ahmedabad since 1994 on rivers Chandra, Beas, Ravi, Satluj, Spiti and Baspa has shown that the glaciers are retreating.
“There had been a retreat of 10-15 m per year in 400 glaciers,” A B Kulkarni, head of Glaciology wing of Space Research Station, Ahmedabad, told PTI.
A Report of Geological Survey of India (GSI) says that prominent glaciers like Chota Sigri in Lahaul-Spiti district showed a retreat of 6.81 m per year, Bara Sigri 29.78 m per year, Trilokinath 17.86 m per year, Beas kund 18.8 m per year and Manimahesh 29.1 metre per year.
The mapping of glaciers through satellite picture suggests that there are in total 334 glaciers in the entire Satluj and Beas basins covering an area of 1515 sq km. Out of this 202 glaciers fall in Himachal Pradesh.
Syed Iqbal Hussnain of TERI, who is studying retreat of glaciers in Himalayas, said the situation is serious.
Hussnain, who is a member of National Action plan on climatology, suggested Himachal Pradesh government to set up a glacier commission on the pattern of one existing in Sikkim to carry field-based scientific study of glacier retreat and draw future plans to tackle the problem.