GSI - the nodal agency for landslide studies
National Core Group for Landslide Hazard Mitigation was set up with the approval of then Dy. Prime Minister vide O. M. No. 31/ 56/ 2003. NDM.III dt. 20 January 2004 with the following Terms of Reference:
- To draw up a strategy of action for monitoring the impact of landslides
- To provide advice and guidance to State Governments on various aspects of landslide hazard mitigation
- To monitor the activities related to landslide hazard mitigation including landslide hazard zonation
- To evolve an Early Warning System and Protocols for landslide hazard/ risk reduction
Keeping in view the terms of reference of the Core Group, the Government of India has declared the Geological Survey of India
as the Nodal Agency
on 29 January 2004
Geological Survey of India as a Nodal Agency is responsible for:
- Coordinating and undertaking geological studies for landslide hazard mitigation
- Carrying out landslide hazard zonation
- Monitoring landslides and avalanches
- Studying the factors responsible for sliding and suggesting precautionary as well as preventive measure
National Core Group has finalized the action plan for landslide studies with inputs of GSI and other organization.
Salient Features of Action Plan
I. Finalisaton of uniform methodologies for Landslide Hazard Zonation (LHZ) on macro scales and meso scales
II. Carrying out Landslide Hazard Zonation of vulnerable areas on macro scales
III. Carrying out Landslide Hazard Zonation of identified areas on meso scales
- 10,000 km communication routes to be covered on macro scales
- Identify critical slopes and prioritise areas for detailed studies
- State Governments to suggest routes for this exercise and GSI to carry survey
- Other collaborating agencies are NRSA, SOI, IMD & CWC
IV. Carrying out monitoring of landslides
- To cover inhabited or sites proposed for infrastructural development
- 20- 25 sites to be taken up initially, 10 sites to be taken up by GSI and rest by other agencies
- A committee comprising IIT- Roorkee, CBRI, NIRM, CRRI, CWC, IMD, THDC etc to distribute work to those willing to work in identified areas in time bound manner
V. To evolve an Early Warning System:
- Slides that pose danger to communication routes or could cause blockade of drainages to be monitored continuously
- 30 slides to be studied initially and GSI would take up 10 slides. Rest to be taken up by others
- A Committee comprising agencies willing to take up the work in time bound manner like CRRI, CBRI, WIHG, IIT-Roorkee / Kharagpur etc.
Need for evolving Early Warning System for landslide has been long felt. Isolated work has been done by some agencies. This is an area where considerable amount of research is required. This is due to the fact that several factors, combined or individually, directly or indirectly, trigger landslides. To have comprehensive predictive model instrumentation based studies have to be extended to wider areas. A committee comprising CRRI, CBRI, WIHG, IIT-Roorkee / Kharagpur, CSIO, NCMRWF etc. may be formed for evolving an Early Warning System.
VI. To prepare Inventory/ Database on LHZ:
Landslide Inventories are most important for any prediction model on Early Warning to be successful. GSI has developed a format and circulated it to States & Agencies like BRO, CPWD etc. for reporting landslide incidences for input towards updating inventory. GSI has developed and published an inventory of about 1000 landslide incidences from NW Himalayas, Eastern Himalayas & Northeastern states. The inventory has to be updated regularly and for this the cooperation from BRO, CPWD, Armed Forces, agencies engaged in infrastructure development and state departments like Forest, PWD, is required.
VII. Awareness Generation:
- GSI to develop awareness strategy and to take up awareness programmes in consultation with State Governments in hazard prone areas
- Another responsibility given to GSI is to arrange a one day workshop with the aim to present GSI's point of view and interact with State Governments and other agencies active in the field of landslides.
- Aim is to raise awareness at various levels through Media Campaigns, Development & distribution of leaflets/ posters, Meetings & Workshops etc
Any agency carrying out Landslide Hazard Mitigation or States engaging agencies for carrying out LHZ may get approval from GSI with a view to: (a) avoid duplication of work and (b) ensure that LHZ is carried out as per the prescribed parameters. After completion of work copy of report may be shared with GSI for record. GSI will report to the National Core Group in MHA through Joint Secretary & Central Relief Commissioner periodically on the progress made on different items.
Landslide Studies Division, Geohazards Research and Management (GHRM) Centre
In 24 May 2013, Ministry of Mines (MoM), in the 1st meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for Landslide Mitigation and Management in India, directed GSI to initiate creation of a Cell on Geohazards Research & Management (GHRM) under the direct supervision of Director General, GSI. The objectives are to: (i) further the research and management activities of landslide and related geohazards, (ii) prepare a road map for an independent research institute in near future.
In October 2016, the Director General has upgraded the GHRM Cell to Geohazards Research & Management (GHRM) Centre by including two specialized divisions: Landslide Studies and Geodynamics Studies Divisions.
In August 2013, GSI, vide notification dated 29/08/2013, created the GHRM Cell under control of Head: Mission IV and direct supervision of DG, GSI.
Terms of Reference of Landslide Studies Division [LnSD], GHRM Centre
Organogram of LnSD, GHRM Centre
- To carry out R&D on landslide hazard and risk analysis
- To work towards enriching the intellectual and scientific calibre of all the stakeholders engaged in hazard mitigation and management by bridging the gap between the available knowledge centre of the country and the common people by promoting a synergy among better public understanding through participation, workshops, inter-disciplinary research, capacity building and collaborations
- To develop mechanism to avoid duplication of work
- To develop Road map for creation of Institute of Geohazards Research and Management (IGRM)
The Landslide Studies Division, GHRM Centre is located at GSI, CHQ, Kolkata. All existing Landslide Divisions of different Regions/ State Units of GSI are linked to the GHRM Centre as Satellite Centres. The LnSD focuses on R&D investigations on landslides and the Satellite Centres/ Landslide Divisions at the Regions/ State Units implement regular FSP items besides taking up R&D related studies in consultation with the GHRM Centre.
Activities of LnSD, GHRM Centre
The major activities of the LnSD, GHRM Centre includes R&D on landslide hazard and risk estimation on different scales, development of Early Warning System, mentoring and capacity building of geologists engaged in landslide studies, and providing assistance to DG, DDG (Geotechnical and Geohazard Management) and NMH-IV, GSI on all works related to landslides. Some of the recent and ongoing activities are:
- Planning of Landslide Susceptibility projects of Field season programmes
- Research Activities through collaboration such as Site specific landslide studies for development of Early Warning System (FS 2015-17) with DTRL, DRDO, development of Regional Early Warning System with British Geological Survey, UK[FS 2017-19], Landslides monitoring using SAR Interferometry [FS 2016-18] with Natural Resource, Canada (NRCan)
- Preparation of Compendium of landslides by collating works carried out by GSI
- Supervising National Landslide Susceptibility Mapping (NLSM) Programme
- Training and capacity building of geologists of GSI and DGMs engaged in NLSM or other landslide projects
- Preparation of SOPs on landslide investigation