The Government of India has planned to conduct the airborne radar surveys in order to estimate the thickness of Himalayan glaciers. Under this plan, the pilot study will be conducted in the Lahaul – Spiti basin of the state of Himachal Pradesh. This proposal was initiated by the “National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research” under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences”.

After this pilot project is done, similar studies will also be conducted in the Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra sub-basins. This development is significant because of the importance of the Himalayan glaciers in the Indian river systems and 500 million lives which the river sustains downstream in Indo-Gangetic plains. They are also significant from with respect to the energy security standpoint. The development is also strategically imperative.

Why this development was done?

In India, This development has come because India is one of the most vulnerable country for extreme weather events. It has been ranked at the 20th position on Climate Risk Index. India also witnessed a human tragedy after several people lost their lives in February 2021 glacier bursts near the Raini village in the state of Uttarakhand.

National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research

The National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research is an Indian research and development institution which is located in the Vasco da Gama in Goa. This centre is an autonomous Institution under the Department of Ocean Development of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. The centre is responsible to administer the Indian Antarctic Programme. It also maintains the Antarctic research stations namely the Bharati & Maitri of India. It was established on 25th May 1998.  Dr. Prem Chand Pandey was the founding director of National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research.

India to conduct Radar Surveys over Himalayan Glaciers