NEW DELHI: The huge Himalayan geo-resources are yet to be fully explored, which can in many ways contribute to the socio-economic development of the region and the country as a large. Though, the main Himalayan resources are its glaciers and snowfields which feed billions of people through irrigation, industry, hydropower generation, herbal medicines, and lot more, says Dr. Jitendra Singh, the MoS (Science & Technologies), PMO on Sunday here in the Capital.
Speaking in inauguration of Research Scholars’ and Transit Hostel at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), the Union Minister said that the hostel was a much-needed aspiration for the researchers, particularly the women researchers and it will surely facilitate a comfortable work environment.
The minister said that about 60 doctoral and 12 post-doctoral students are pursuing research in different aspects of Himalaya based on Geoscientific investigation at WIHG and the institute is fully equipped with state-of-the-art analytical facilities and data processing centres that are generating quality data not only to fulfil the need of in-house researchers but also for the researchers from other institutes and universities.
It was established in 1968, WIHG did not have a Research Scholars’ & Transit Hostel, which has now been provided with this 40-room Hostel. The Minister said that this upgradation will now enable the students to pursue their research for extended hours as well as utilise the in-house laboratory facilities to the fullest extent possible.
The ‘WIHG’ has been a dedicated research institute on Himalayan Geosciences for understanding geodynamic evolution of the mighty Himalaya; scientific explanation of geo-hazards caused by earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, flash floods, etc. with a view to provide an assessment, management and mitigation; and exploration of Geo-resources such as geothermal, minerals, ore bodies, hydrocarbons, springs, riverine system, etc. that can be exploited in a scientific manner for socioeconomic development. He said that the institute is actively involved in studying glacial dynamics and the climate-tectonic interaction in the present climate change scenario.’ Dr. Singh noted.
He stated that the corona pandemic, which is the biggest health care crisis, lock down and social distancing have impacted the economy severely, and the Government is desperately looking for scientific invention and technological breakthrough that can help build resilience and strong emergence of economy.
The Minister maintained that the Geosciences can play a pivotal role in growth of several sectors in the country such as the Energy security, Water security, Industrial expansion, Management and mitigation of geo-hazards, Climate change impact on ecology and biodiversity, Conservation of environment etc.
It is very important to understand the impact of upstream climate change to high-altitude glaciers, and their consequences to the downstream river system that are feeding billions of people for irrigation, drinking water, industrial & domestic usages, hydropower projects, even to tourists and pilgrimages.
Besides providing the impact assessment due to hydropower projects, the institute has also been pursuing the environment impact-assessment related to several other developmental activities in the Himalaya as caused by road construction, ropeway, railway, tunnel, etc.