, Volume 26, Issue 1-2, pp 57-68

The shift of ravi river and the geomorphological features along its course in amritsar and gurdaspur districts of punjab

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Abstract

Satellite remote sensing technique can be effectively utilised in mapping and monitoring the river course changes and associated geomorphological features. Ravi river, flowing along the Indo-Pakistan border, has been in the limelight for its repeated flood havoc during monsoon and abrupt encroachment at some places in the Indian territory, where it was not flowing earlier. This river, meandering in zig-zag fashion along the International boundary in Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts of Punjab, poses perennial threats to the nations’s economy due to extensive destruction happening every year. An attempt has been made to map the shift of this river and the associated geomorphological features along its course using the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite data (IRS-IA and IB LISS-IIFCC) of the period 1991–1993 and the Survey of India topographic sheets of the period 1972–1973. The study shows that there has been drastic changes in the course of Ravi during a span of 20 years due to human activities along its course. The river has shifted its course considerably towards India since its topography is against it. River training structures/bundhs, built by the neighbouring country, across and very near to the earlier river course has been the main reason for this drastic shifting. It is estimated that such massive structures could turn the river course towards India by atleast 1 to 5 km in the border districts of Punjab. This shifting of Ravi along international border poses a serious threat to the Nation’s defence system.