23 June 2009

The National Centre for Landslide Research, Studies and Management in India

Posted by Dave Petley

Yesterday, the Indian National Disaster Management Authority held a press conference to announce the publication of a new set of “National Disaster Management Guidelines – Management of Landslides and Snow Avalanches”. At this press conference it was also announced that the Indian Government will set up a National Centre for Landslide Research, Studies and Management, to be located in one of the most landslide-prone states (I would guess that this will either be in the north of the country or in the south-east). Unfortunately at the moment there is little information available about this centre, other than what was contained in the speech given by the Union Minister of Mines and DONER, Shri Bijoy Krishna Handique:

“The proposal for establishing a National Centre for landslides research, studies and management, as recommended by the guidelines is a welcome step in the direction of capacity building and research and development and I feel that GSI [Geological Survey of India] will be able to host this Centre as part of its core activities. Such a centre of excellence will ensure adequate national coverage, information flow, community participation, networking, and feedback with regard to landslides and snow avalanches, besides coordinating the effort of the states and other concerned central organizations. It will also foster, promote, and sustain a scientific culture in the management of slopes and landslides and encourage the transition to a culture of prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response.”

Given that India has a pretty serious landslide problem that appears to be getting worse, this is a very sensible move.

I would like to get hold of a copy of the guidelines, but at the moment they are not available. However, the press conference suggested that they cover nine distinct areas:

  • Landslide hazard, vulnerability, and risk assessment
  • Multi-hazard conceptualisation
  • Landslide remediation practice
  • Research and development
  • Monitoring and early warning of landslides
  • Knowledge network and management
  • Capacity building and training
  • Public awareness and education
  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Regulation and enforcement.

All of which sounds very sensible!