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Dangerous curves: Five most scenic and treacherous roads in India

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The roads are the only thing that lie between you and your destination. These roads can be charming and deadly at the same time. Newsgram brings to you a list of the five most dangerous (and beautiful) roads in India.

Zoji La Pass: Located at an altitude of 3,528 meters above sea level, the pass acts as a connecting route between a valley of Kashmir and Ladakh. The pass goes through the important Srinagar-Leh highway, located in the western section of the Himalayan mountain range. Heavy snowfall leads to blockage of the pass for more than half a year. Melting snow makes the road slippery and lack of barricades makes it even riskier for the vehicles.

f1 Zoji La

Rohtang Pass: Literally meaning “pile of corpses”, the pass acts as a link between the Kullu valley and the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys (Himachal Pradesh). Rohtang Pass is situated at an elevation of around 3,978 meters above the sea level. The beauty of nature turns deceptive here, owing to the risky road. The pass is generally open from May to November.

f1 rohtang

Leh Manali Highway: A long spread of 479 kilometers; the highway connects Leh (J&K) to Manali (Himachal Pradesh). Major snowfall around the years results in its closure for more than six months. The highest elevation of the highway is as high as 17,000 feet (5,328 m). Damaged portions and fear of landslides make it one of the most dangerous highways in India.

f2 Leh Manali highway

Kinnaur Road: Bordering Tibet on its eastern side, National Highway-22 was severely damaged in the floods of 2013. The road was constructed by cutting into hard rocks. The adventure and risk goes up in the winter and rainy season. The district Kinnaur has three mountain ranges (Zanskar, Greater Himalayas and Dhauladhar) and produces apples, chilgoza and other dry fruits majorly.

Khardung La: Located at a distance of 39 kilometers from Leh, Khardung La (J&K) is believed to be one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The pass has an elevation of 5,359 meters above the sea level. Narrow one-lane sections and snow lead to traffic jams. Rainfall and washouts often heighten the risk of accidents and landslides.

khardung la f1

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)