Press Release

Press Release from Science and Technology Department, Government of Sikkim

Information & Public Relations Department

Date: 13-May-2022

Consultation Workshop on Glacial Lake Outburst Flood Risk for South Lhonak and Shako Cho Lakes in Sikkim
A Consultation Workshop on Glacial Lake Outburst Flood Risk for South Lhonak and Shako Cho Lakes in Sikkim was organised by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Government of Sikkim and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) on 13 May 2022 at Hotel Yangthang Heritage, Gangtok.
The workshop was conducted in the frame of the project Strengthening Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (SCA-Himalayas) under the chairmanship and co-chairmanship of Ms Sarala Rai, IAS, State Relief Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department (LR&DMD) and Shri Bhuwan Pradhan, IFS, Secretary, DST.
The workshop was participated by representatives from Mangan District Administration, State Departments (Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority, LR&DMD, DST, Power, Forest, Mines and Geology, Water Resources), Central organisations (GSI, CWC), ITBP, and Hydel power developers (Teesta Urja, NHPC, Lanco).
Shri. B.P Pradhan outlined the work carried out by the Department of Science and Technology, particularly in glacier and climate studies. He sought the active support and participation of the stakeholders to achieve a successful and exemplary GLOF EWS.
Ms Divya Sharma, Deputy Head of Cooperation, SDC India briefed on the evolution of the SCA Himalayas project. She thanked the stakeholders for their participation and cooperation. She informed me that the project outcomes would be shared with National Disaster Management Authority for further course of action.
Ms Eveline Studer, Senior Regional Advisor on DRR and RR in South Asia, presented the SDC initiatives and projects in India. She also elaborated on the SCA Himalayas project.
Shri D.G Shrestha, Director, DST welcomed the participants and presented the activities carried out by the Department in the South Lhonak Lake and Sakho Cho lakes in Sikkim. He highlighted the South Lhonak lake's increasing size and the urgent need for an Early Warning System (EWS) for these glacial lakes in Sikkim.
Shri. Prabhakar Rai, Director, SSDMA, Government of Sikkim outlined the roles of different stakeholders in the Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) and the need for community involvement in such activities.
Mr Christoph Haemmig, Geotest, presented the first-order assessment of GLOF risk for Sikkim and preliminary detailed hazard modelling of South Lhonak lake. He also gave the proposed and planned activities of GLOF risk assessment and EWS for both lakes. This was followed by an open discussion amongst the participants. All stakeholders actively participated and raised their comments, queries and suggestions.
The consultation concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms Ada Lawrence, Technical Expert, Disaster Risk Management, SCA Himalayas.