ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Land Subsidence in Uttarkashi

Insights from the Silkyara Tunnel Collapse

Uttarkashi’s susceptibility to land subsidence, exemplified by the Silkyara tunnel collapse that put the lives of 41 workers at risk, is investigated. Fortifying the region against the risks of land subsidence entails robust mitigation strategies, early warning systems, geotechnical assessments, sustainable urban planning, and advanced engineering solutions.

The author would like to express their sincere gratitude to the anonymous referee for providing insightful comments on the article, which have significantly contributed to enhancing its robustness and scholarly merit.

Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, Uttarkashi holds a significant position within the Indian landscape, characterised by a unique blend of geographical splendour, seismic activity, and socio-economic importance (Bhattacharjee 2022; Burman 1999). Situated in the northern state of Uttarakhand, this region boasts of breathtaking landscapes, enriched cultural heritage, and spiritual significance owing to its proximity to several pilgrim sites along the Ganges river basin (Figure 1). Geographically, Uttarkashi covers an area abundant in diverse terrains, ranging from rugged mountainous terrains to fertile valleys (Sati 2020; Yadav and Pandey 2017). Its proximity to the convergence of the Bhagirathi and Alakananda rivers renders it not only picturesque but also susceptible to geo-hazards. This amalgamation of geographical features contributes to its vulnerability to seismic events, a factor deeply entrenched in Uttarkashis history. The regions seismic history is marked by intermittent but impactful tectonic activities owing to its location near major fault lines. Uttarkashi encountered significant earthquakes in 1991, resulting in substantial socio-economic repercussions (GSI 1992). These seismic events have led to infrastructural damage, disruption of livelihoods, and loss of lives, highlighting the regions susceptibility to geological disturbances.

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Published On : 9th Mar, 2024

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