Friday, October 5, 2007

Chibo bustee- a lost case?

When I talk to many about Chibo, Kalimpong, in the context of landslides, what I get is a shrug and a standard statement “Chibo was ALWAYS a sinking area”.

I find that statement increasingly irritating because it tantamounts to admission of defeat and that nothing can be done in Chibo; in short all the people of Chibo and their assets are doomed.

The question is, has any technical study been done in Chibo as to how we can at least SLOW down the sinking. This is all the more important today, since the number of sinking areas in and around Kalimpong is actually INCREASING.

It takes no expert to point out that Chibo has a large number of rivulets or jhoras which drain the area and all of these appear untrained. A cursory inspection also reveals that much of the sinking is due to these jhoras gobbling up the land that they plough thru. Planting of incorrect types of trees also seems to have played a big hand in the recent slides.

So can we call in some experts to suggest ways in which we can manage these jhoras, suggest the types of trees to be planted etc. I would think that this will be a complex study involving drainage pattern, soil structure, tree plantation and so on. I believe seminars have taken place on this matter but have largely remained hot air being blown across the table.

That time has passed, it is now time to ACT -experts and citizens together.

Praful Rao

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