Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A small step in the right direction

Minutes of the meeting organised by the Indian Red Cross Society, Kalimpong Branch on the 12/11/2007 at Trysem hall, B.D.O. Office, Kalimpong

1) The meeting was Chaired by Mr. Ganesh Mani Pradhan

2) The following were present:-
Mr. K.N. Pradhan, President Rotary Club of Kalimpong, Mr. O.B. Das of Secreatry, Red Cross Society, Kalimpong Branch,Mrs. Sanjogita Subba, President Hotel and Restaurant Association of Kalimpong (HORAK),Samsher Ali, President Piranha Club, KAlimpong, Mr. B.K. Chettri, Convenor, Krishi Kalyan Sanghatan,Dr HB Chettri, Dr. D.P. Pandey,Mr. P.T. Lama,President Bhalukhop Dev Committee,Ms Gayatri Kharel- Structural Engineer, Miss Iva and Ila Pandey of Kanchenjunga Integrated Development Society (KIDS), Dawa Pemba Sherpa, Sudeep Sunar, Puran Prakash Chettri, Lendup Norgay Bhutia, , Mrs Preeti Rai.

3) Wg Cdr P. Rao (retd) gave a detailed report about the various landslide affected areas he had visited along with other members of various organisations. He further appraised the members present about his meeting with the Principal Secretary, Disaster Management, Govt of W Bengal on 02Nov2007 and the correspondence with the Governor of West Bengal, D.M and other officials and organizations. He stressed the necessity of identifying critical hazard areas and doing preventive work in these areas before the onset of the next monsoons.

4) An open discussion was initiated in the house to find out ways to address the current situation and find out ways to solve the same.

5) The members present resolved that:

a) SavetheHills would be the nodal forum under which all the different organizations would work to act as pressure groups to get preventive work done by Govt/DGHC. Mr. O.B. Das was requested to be the convenor for the time being of this adhoc organization.
b) Ms Gayatri Kharel- Structural Engineer would try and request Dr RK Bhandari, Chairman Centre for Disaster Mitigation and Management, Vellore and a national authority on landslides to visit Kalimpong.
c) KIDS would continue with their awareness programme at Schools and village levels.
d) Dr HB Chettri said he would take the responsibility to spread awareness amongst the grass root levels through extensive coverage in the local Nepali news media.

Dr DP Pandey


Comment by Praful Rao

I think this meeting is welcome move.
Tomorrow we have another biggish meeting here in Kalimpong organized by the Himalayan Farmer's Front in the Town Hall where NGOs, people from landslide affected areas around Kalimpong and the Press will be interacting.
I wonder whether something similar is happening in Darjeeling/Kurseong or any other parts of the district?
If not, may I request anyone who is from these areas to take up the cudgel start organizing these meetings so that we can tell the Govt/DGHC that we are NOT interested in HAM radios or plastic sheets or chewra AFTER a landslide; what we are interested in is positive, pre-emptive steps to prevent landslides!

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