Three months after Sep2007 rains, as we toured some affected areas with a specialist team we saw despair and hopefully a glimmer of hope :-
Slide 2: It is hard to imagine that Tirtirey jhora (rivulet) which is now a dry stream is the cause of all the devastation around Anil Shankhar's village. An entire hillside with many homes and residences is sliding down because of the jhora's rampage in the monsoons.
On 03Dec2007, there was no repair ("training") work being done on the jhora and there are 5 months for the next monsoons.
Slide 3: Some jhora training work has started in 14the mile though and this jhora is the cause of an entire hillock at Sangsay Phatak sliding down.
Slide 4: Jhora training work at a sinking area (Ghatey Khola) at 11th mile, Kalimpong
Whereas it is good that some preventive work has started, let us not be naive and think decades of neglect can reversed in the spate of a few months or years.
Right now the funds being allocated are in penny packets and will not even touch the tip of the iceberg even if there were no corruption.
But all of us know there is corruption - BIG, BIG CORRUPTION...
so just what awaits us in 2008?