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Analyse the various risks posed by hydropower projects in the Himalayan region? Highlight the impact of climate change on further exacerbating the existing risks. Suggest measures needed to mitigate it.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5. Analyse the various risks posed by hydropower projects in the Himalayan region? Highlight the impact of climate change on further exacerbating the existing risks. Suggest measures needed to mitigate it. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The Environment Ministry told the SC that it has permitted seven hydroelectric power projects to go ahead. One of them is the 512 MW Tapovan Vishnugadh project, in Joshimath, Uttarakhand that was recently damaged by a flood in February.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the various risks of constructing hydropower projects in Himalayan regions and how climate change has impacted the risks.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by writing about the potential of hydropower – a renewable source of energy in the Himalayan region. Draw a small map to show existing projects in that region.

Body:

In the first part, write about the various risks that are associated with hydropower projects – political conflicts, social impact, economic viability and ecological concerns must be written in detail. Substantiate them with examples.

Next, write about how the climate change has enhanced these existing vulnerabilities with respect to the Himalayan region. Mention studies/reports to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Suggest measures which must be takin in to account before going ahead with hydropower projects and to ensure safety of the existing ones in the Himalayan region.