Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The silent disaster: Darjeeling chapter

Lower Bhotay Busty landslide has affected 11 households and have washed one house away. They have been living with their friends and families ever since the landslide.

Lebong and Ging was also badly hit with people dying in the landslides.

Gairee Gaon in Harsing with 35 families have been badly hit by landslides with 2 houses completely washed away and 1 with a crack. The rest of the houses are in a highly vulnerable situation. 8 families are living in the primary school in Harsing

The landslides in Lower Bhotay Busty, Lebong and Harsing are not just one off landslides but are indicators of bigger doom to follow if we do not take precautionary measures. Cracks have developed indicating bigger landslides yet to come. These cracks have developed in Bhotay Busty, Lebong and Harsing which are at the base of Chowrastha which is the prime and pride of Darjeeling Town. The landslides and cracks if not attended to with proper care and attention will bring our beloved Chowrastha to River Rungdoong.

Photo credit : Sukra Mani Rai, Darjeeling

Report by : Roshan Rai, DLR Prerna c/o Hayden Hall Complex, Darjeeling


Darjeeling Brew said...

Good work guys, for going out there and getting the documentation of the monsoon damages. The rains were indeed relentless and it was, in a way surprising, that we escaped a catastrophe - nature has handed out yet another chance to us. And like always, we will ignore the sign. No use blaming the authorities for not taking notice. The local consensus continues to be a helpless, demoralised "ke garne?"
I am for our NGOs and proactive citizens like Praful Rao to court the politicians and impress upon them the urgency of the matter. We - the well-meaning ones - have kept a hands-off approach towards our netas. But that has not helped. Me thinks these guys would positively reciprocate if we gave them a chance. Because we expect nothing good from them, they respond in kind. Unfortunately, if anyone can save the day it will be our leaders. (The authorities would have certainly taken notice if the neta had raised the issue. But the jokers were conducting pujas for the Indian Idol...so, why bother?)
It will be a long time before conscientious people join politics
So we got to work with what we have.
This does not mean we have to share their drinks, food and bad jokes. But we can make firm representation to them before we go to the DM or other authorities. We should leave that to the netas, because of the bureaucrats' natural inclination for cosiness to that special brood.
The other thing, and this is actually a prerequisite for the above, would be for proactive citizens across the hills to come together and get organised. And this is particularly tricky because we are a fractious ego-maniacal bunch. (The ego is actually to camouflage our personal insecurity about who we are. We people also lack confidence. On that note, Prashant Tamang, may not have the talent, but boy, he's got the confidence. And because of his confidence he could mix freely, and truly, with his rivals). If we worked on our personal confidence, it would be easier to come together. I don't know how we can go about doing that. But that is a long thing to wait for. Let's just go ahead and float a forum that would work as a pressure group to our politicians.
These are my first rambling thoughts on the matter at hand, in terms of an answer to "ke garne?"
Hope this makes sense.

savethehills said...

thank u for yr comment.
most of the time one wonders whether anyone reads these blogs at all since there are hardly any comments or queries.
but what i really want to convey to u or to anyone who reads http://www.savethehills.blogspot.com is that our hills are really in danger
so just let us network, pass the word around..
the time we have is limited

praful rao