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The Scope of Sustainable Agriculture in the District of Allahabad: an Approach to Food Security, Innovation & Greening the Economy

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Submitted By deshdeepak
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Research Proposal for the Ph. D. Admissions: 2015-16
A Geographical Study of Natural Disasters and their Management in Uttarakhand

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Disasters are not new to mankind. They have been the constant, though inconvenient, companions of the human beings since time immemorial. Disasters continue to occur without warning and are perceived to be on an increase in their magnitude, complexity, frequency and economic impact. It may be noticed that the number of disaster events which was 73 in 1900-09 have increased to 4494 disaster events during 2000-09.

Source: Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED)

The economic cost associated with disasters has increased more than ten-fold during 2006 to 2011 i.e. from 34.5 billion US $ in 2006 to 366 billion US $ in 2011 (Source: Annual Disaster Statistical Review, 2012). Scenario in India is no different from the global context. India is losing about 2% of GDP on an average due to the disasters. The country is prone to disasters due to its unique geophysical setting and socio-economic conditions. On account of its multi-layered vulnerability, the country has witnessed an increase in the occurrence of disasters resulting in widespread devastation. Disasters disrupt progress and destroy the outcome of developmental efforts over several years, often pushing nations in quest for progress back by several decades. "Disasters are sudden adverse unfortunate extreme events or hazards which cause great damage to human beings as well as plants and animals". A hazard becomes a disaster when it coincides with a vulnerable situation, when societies or communities are unable to cope with it with their own resources and capacities. Disasters are sometimes classified as whether they are 'natural disasters' or 'human-made disasters'. For example, floods, droughts, tidal waves, earth-tremors are generally considered natural disasters. Disasters caused by chemical or industrial accidents, environmental pollution, transport accidents are classified as human-made disasters since they are the direct results of human action. A more modern and social understanding of disasters, however, views this distinction as artificial since most disasters result from the action or inaction of people and their social and economic structures. For instance, the recent flash-flood of June 16-17, 2013 in Uttarakhand was probably the after-effect of rampant mining on the river banks and indiscriminate construction of hydro-power projects. By virtue of its geographical setting the newly evolved Uttarakhand state is very susceptible to disasters. Being a part of Himalayan ecology Uttarakhand is vulnerable to minor ecological changes. Hence any activity disapproved by mountain ecosystem triggers a disaster in the state. Uttarakhand is a multi-hazard prone state vulnerable to earthquakes, landslides, flash-floods, forest-fire, cloud-bursts and soil-erosion. Therefore, Uttarakhand has to be prepared to cope with disasters by having proper disaster management systems in place. Also we need to look at the form in which we are bringing in economic development. Building only dams and hydro-power projects are not the solution. In spite we need to understand that Uttarakhand and other hilly regions are unlike the rest of India. So, applying the same formula for economic progress is not the solution. Therefore, the question to consider is how it should develop: by building roads and hydro-power projects or local economies based on tourism, which do not work against nature. The present research work will be an effort to find the answers for such questions and many more.

Study-Area: Uttarakhand was carved out of Himalayan and adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh on November 9, 2000 becoming the 27th state of the Republic of India. It stretches between 28˚43' to 31˚27' N. latitudes and 77˚34' to 81˚2' E. longitudes. It forms part of the northern boundary of the country with Nepal and Tibet. It touches Tibet in north, Himachal Pradesh in the west and north-west, Gangetic plains of Uttar Pradesh in the south and River Kali separates it from Nepal in the east.

Location Map of Uttarakhand Administratively, the state consists of two divisions, viz. Kumaon and Garhwal which are further divided into 7 and 6 districts respectively. Garhwal includes Uttarkashi, Dehradun, Tehri Garhwal, Rudra Prayag, Chamoli, Haridwar and Pauri Garhwal whereas Kumaon includes Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Almora, Nainital, Champawat and Udham Singh Nagar. Uttarakhand has distinct and varied physical features, starting from foothills in the south it extends to the snow-clad mountains in the north. It comprises of five latitudinal zones with ill-defined boundary line i.e. the Terai-Bhabar, the Shiwaliks, the Lower Himalaya, the Higher Himalaya and the trans-Himalaya. Consequently these 5 geomorphic regions represent 5 geological zones also. Due to its water bearing rivers and rivulets Uttarakhand is of very strategic importance for the country. These rivers form main water source for whole of the northern India. The Ganga System, the Yamuna System and the Kali System are the three main river systems of the region. Uttarakhand enjoys diverse climatic conditions because of great variations in elevation, slope aspects, proximity to glaciers, forests etc. Monsoon in the region stretches from the last week of June to the end of September. Average annual rainfall is about 150 cm. in Bhabar-Terai belt and shows a decreasing trend towards north. From January to March, the highest peaks of Uttarakhand receive heavy to medium snowfall which affects the climate of whole state and even the plains of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana. Uttarakhand is a forest dominated state. As per the India State of Forest Report 2011 (ISFR 2011) 64.79% of the total geographical area of the state is covered under forests that cover the area of 34651 sq. km. The major species found in the forests are Sal, Teak, Chir, Pine, Deodar, Oak, and Spruce etc. Agriculture is one of the most important and thrust areas of the economy of the state. The state is one of the largest producers of seasonal fruits like Litchi, Apple, Plum, and Peach etc. The economic agenda of the state focuses on tourism, higher education, IT, food-processing and biotech industry. The state has a vast potential for adventure, leisure, eco-tourism and religious tourism. Uttarakhand has progressed steadily since its inception as an independent state. However, the development has been mainly taken place in the plain areas whereas the mountainous areas have remained relatively backward. Thus, an integral approach needs to be adopted so as to ensure inclusive development.

Main Objectives: Every scientific study must have its objectives without which it will not bear relevance to man. This proposed research work will be based on following specific objectives -
1. To gain familiarity with the fundamental concepts used in Disaster Management such as hazard, disaster, vulnerability, risk, prevention, mitigation, recovery, rehabilitation and so on.
2. To portray accurately the characteristics of different natural calamities and causes & processes thereof happening within the study area and to achieve new insights into it.
3. To understand and review the existing disaster management practices and plans for the selected study area.
4. To change the way public at-large perceive disasters that will help create a culture of prevention and not just a culture of reaction.
5. To provide an organized, systematic and flexible approach in dealing with disasters.
6. To propose a developmental plan that take into account the fragility and vulnerability of the region and to suggest their remedial measures.

Hypotheses for the Study: When a prediction is to be tested by scientific methods, it is termed as research hypothesis. It is a predictive statement that relates an independent variable to a dependent variable. Hypotheses taken for this particular study are as follows-
1. There is nothing natural about a disaster. Nature provides the hazards- earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and so on- but humans help create disasters.
2. Vulnerability to disasters is visibly a function of poverty- of social and economic development.
3. Disasters not only make poor people more vulnerable to them but they trap them in a vicious circle of poverty.
4. Disasters put development at risk. At the same time, the development choices made by individuals, communities and nations can generate new disaster risks. Development, therefore, can have both a positive as well as a negative realm.
5. Prevention pays and has an immediate return. Prevention is not a cost, it is an investment. It is more a question of priorities rather than costs.

Research Methodology: Research methodology is a way to systematically solve the research problem. It is the methodology which helps achieving the objectives of any study and restrains the researcher from deviating from the desired line of work. Once the research problem is formulated, as a first step it is compulsory for a researcher to undertake extensive literature on the topic concerned. Some interdisciplinary studies will also be helpful to have in-depth knowledge and to gain new insights into the research problem. For this, academic journals, conference proceedings, government reports, books etc. will be read and analyzed in the present context and situation. Besides literature, the help of other secondary data i.e. maps, aerial photographs, satellite imageries and various other sources will be referred to understand the mechanism of hazards and demarcate the disaster prone areas more precisely. Geography is essentially a field science whose real laboratory is field. The proposed research work being a geographical study also involves field observation as a method of data collection. The data will be collected using a combination of research tools and techniques namely schedule, observation, group discussion, personal interviews etc. In the present case the most important data to be collected will include vulnerability of the area and society to disasters. This will be decided by various variables, i.e. geology, climate, topography, people's awareness about disasters and after all the development pattern of the region and society. Based on these data a rough picture may be drawn about the susceptibility of the area to natural hazards. If circumstances would allow, participation will be taken in the operations during disasters. As an insider, it will give the opportunity to critically analyze the situation and to identify the gaps and reasons of shortcomings in the existing system and approach. Discussion with different experts in the field will also provide a lot of knowledge problems and their solutions. The data about the disaster incidences and their intensity and impacts in the area for the past few years will also be required for the purpose. At last, but not the least, the materials available on the reliable internet sources will also be scanned for documenting the most recent and current trends.


1. Introduction * Study Area: Map & Location * Objectives of the Study * Research Problems & Major Hypotheses * Research Methodology 2. Conceptual Background * Hazards and Disasters: Meaning & Concepts * Typology of Hazards and Disasters * Aspects of Disaster Management 3. Physical Setting of the Study Area * Geology * Physiography * Drainage Pattern * Climatic Features * Natural Vegetation 4. Cultural Setting of the Study Area * Population * Settlement * Land-Use Pattern * Agriculture * Industry * Transport and Communication

5. Vulnerability Analysis of Uttarakhand * Hazard Vulnerability Typology * Spatial Vulnerability * Infrastructural Vulnerability * Community Vulnerability * Vulnerability Risks

6. Disasters in Uttarakhand: An Overview * Seismic Disaster * Landslide Disaster * Flood Disaster * Avalanches * Soil Erosion * Localized Atmospheric Hazards * Cloud Burst * Lightning 7. Disaster Management: Methods & Approaches * Pre-Disaster Stage * Disaster Preparedness * Disaster Mitigation * Disaster Prevention * Post-Disaster Stage * Rescue and Relief * Reconstruction * Recovery and Rehabilitation 8. Disaster Management Plans: Past, Present & Future

Guha-Sapir, D.,Hargitt, D., & Hoyois, Ph. (2004) Thirty Years of Natural Disasters 1974-2003: The Numbers. Brussels. CRED.
Guha-Sapir, D., Hoyois, Ph. & Below, R. (2013) Annual Disaster Statistical Review: The Number & Trends. Brussels. CRED.
Kumar, Santosh (June 2009) From Risk to Resilience. Yojana, Vol 53, pp. 23-26.
Leoni, B., Radford T., & Schulman, M. (2012) Disaster Through Different Lens. UNISDR.
Narain, Sunita (2013) Himalayan Blunders. Down To Earth. Vol 22, No 4, pp. 3.
Satendra, IFS. (2003) Disaster Management in The Hills. New Delhi. Concept Publishing Company.
Singh, R. L. (2008) India: A Regional Geography. Varanasi. National Geographical Society Of India
Singh, Svindra & Singh, Jeetendra. (2013) Disaster Management .Allahabad. Pravalika Publications.

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