The snow cover
The snow cover in the river basins of the Chenab, Beas, Ravi and the Sutlej in the Himalayan region of Himachal has declined by 10 per cent.
The reduced snow cover this winter has led to the fear of an impending water shortage during the summer and a decline in power generation in the state. As per the mapping of the seasonal snow cover undertaken by the State Centre for Climate Change in the HP Council for Science, Technology and Environment, an overall 10 per cent decline has been witnessed over previous years.
Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena says, “There is clear evidence that most glaciers are losing mass. With Shimla receiving no snowfall this winter, there is fear that the state may face water shortage during the summer. Initiatives like the adoption of e-vehicles and renewable energy need to be put in place to arrest this disturbing trend.”
Scientists have been expressing concern over the accelerated glacial melting and variations in the snow cover in the Himalayan region over the past few years.