Geo-environmental consequences of obstructing the Bhagirathi River, Uttarakhand Himalaya, India

The Bhagirathi Valley is investigated to understand the impact of various barrages and dams on natural river flow. The multiple barrages and dams in the valley (downstream of the Bhatwari Village) have obstructed/disrupted natural flow of the river which has adversely impacted geomorphological and ecological functions of the river. Besides, it is observed that during and after the implementation of the hydropower projects, the terrain stability was severely affected due to creation of fresh landslide zones, destruction of forest and rural infrastructures including the marginal agricultural lands.

The study observes that lack of detailed geological, geomorphological and ecological investigation prior to the execution of the hydropower projects led to the terrain instability.

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