Less snow in the mountains

In past few years there has been a trend of reduced snowfall in himalyas . But why so much anxiety regarding this ?? The answer lies in it's socio- economic-cultural impact . 

Rivers in north india are perennial in nature and get most of it's water from the glaciers . If there is an inadequate amount of snowfall , it results into less supply of water in summers. City like shimla has already faced the brunt of such problems . Thus , to sustain in summers , adequate amount of snow is required to cater the large scale amount of water needs of the people .  Along with that all the himalyan states have large hydroelectric projects to supply  electricity . This generated electricity is also shared with the neighbouring states .With less supply of water in the river power generation would also be impacted . 

India has a long history of inter-state water disputes as well which sometimes have ended up with violence . Amid less water supply , it could further aggravate the situation and may cause social problems.

Culturally speaking , himalyas are abode of grazing communities . Their sheep heavily depend on open green pastures . With less snow it could also impact the quality of grass and the whole profession of grazing itself .Abscence of snowfall impacts crop productivity as well and eventually effects farmer's income . Crops like apple , apricot heavily depend on it . Whereas in plains crops like wheat demand winter rains for better production .

Besides that every winter lakhs of tourist throng to these hilly states and contribute towards economy of these states . With less snowfall it's observed that hotels stay underbooked , causing heavy losses to the tourism industry.

Thus we can understand why there is so much concern and worry  regarding this issue . The reasons are natural as well as manmade like any other environmnetal issue . If we throw light on natural reason for this year's snowfall deficit there are two main culprits- NO western disturbances and  El-NINO . Absence of  western disturbances which carry moist air from the mediterranean sea and cause rainfall in north india known as MAHAWAT and snowfall has caused a long dry spell . Along with that el-nino is resposible for dry spell on this part of the world and heavy rainfall along the peruvian coast further aggravating the situation .If we talk about man made reasons excessive and unplanned  construction as well as tourism are the culprits . Rampant construction in the hilly regions of both buildings and roads  led to large scale felling of trees , which are crucial to maintain the local climatic conditions . Along with that large scale vehicular influx into these states also affect the local climate . 

Snowfall is lifeline of himalyan regions and disruptions in this process can have multidimensional  impact . Thus , it's important to have collective effort to arrest such development which would lead to long term impact . As one of the famous sayings goes by -  we don't inherit nature from our ancestors but borrow it from our future generation , a balance needs to be struck between economic and environmental goals .



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