Landslides in the Indian Himalayas around hydro power projects were caused mainly by topography, geological conditions and rainfall, the power ministry said on Wednesday, citing a study that ruled out construction as a factor.
The government-run Indian Institute of Remote Sensing study of nine sites of state hydropower board NHPC Ltd (NHPC.NS) in Himalayan states showed “landslide activities around hydropower projects are not related to the construction activity of the project,” the ministry said in a statement
Several avalanches in the region killed at least 120 people over the last two years. In January, nearly 200 people were evacuated from the small town of Joshimath in Uttarakhand state as hundreds of structures developed cracks after an apparent sinking of land.
Experts and town residents have long warned that large-scale construction could cause land subsidence, including work for power projects by companies such as NTPC Ltd (NTPC.NS), which has denied responsibility.
In the worst case, one avalanche triggered flash floods in Uttarakhand that killed at least 80 in February 2021 according to media reports