Retreat of Gangotri glacier will not have any drastic influence on the flow of Ganga as the river is not totally dependent on it, the Lok Sabha was told today.
A study of advance and retreat of 2018 glaciers across the Himalayan region showed that 87 per cent of glaciers showed no change, 12 per cent retreated and only one per cent glaciers have advanced, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in a written reply in the lower house of Parliament.
“According to National Institute of Hydrology, retreat of Gangotri glacier will not have drastic influence on the flow of river Ganga. The latter is not totally dependent on glaciers for its water even in the head-waters region.
“The percentage of snow and glacier-fed contribution progressively reduces as one moves downstream. Rainwater and sub-surface flows contribute more than 70 per cent of the flow of river Ganga at Haridwar,” Dave said.
A collaborative study project by Environment Ministry and lndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has carried out a mapping of Himalayan glaciers using satellite data during 2004 to 2007.
“The study shows that there are 34,919 glaciers spread over 75,779 sq km in Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra basins, covering Himalaya and Trans-Himalaya, including Karakoram region.
“Further, ISRO has monitored the glacier advance and retreat of 2018 glaciers, across the Himalayan region using satellite data of 2000-01 to 2010-11. The study shows that 87 per cent of glaciers showed no change, 12 per cent glaciers retreated and 1 per cent glaciers have advanced,” the Minister said.
He said the Himalayan glaciers are being further monitored as part of a new project entitled ‘Integrated Studies of Himalayan Cryosphere using Space based inputs and Impact Assessment due to Climate Change’ funded by the Department of Space.
Major initiatives taken under the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) include creation of four Thematic Task Forces on Himalayan agriculture, traditional knowledge systems, forest resources and plant diversity and Fauna and Wildlife Habitats.
He said that state climate change centres have been set up in the seven Himalayan states – – Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim and Meghalaya.