A week back, I met 8 gentlemen from Alaichikhop, Kalimpong (refer blog entry of Sep2007). What they told me was all too familiar; they said now that the rains had started and nothing AT ALL had been done by way of landslide prevention in Alaichikhop, they would most probably have to flee their homes and seek shelter elsewhere.
All over Kalimpong, in areas which were severely mauled in Sep07 people are now asking how do they survive the next 6 months.
And having exhausted most avenues, I decided to do a signature campaign with an aim to alert the Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority.
Placed below is the full text of the letter.
Dr Manmohan Singh,
National Disaster Management Authority,
Landslide Hazard in Darjeeling District
By way of a brief introduction, I am Wg Cdr Prafulla Rao(retd), Convener of SaveTheHills (STH) which is a group of concerned citizens of the Darjeeling Hills working towards raising awareness about landslides in this area and also requesting the government/NGOs to initiate aggressive preventive action against this hazard.
For your information, in Sep2007 we survived a near disaster in these hills and since then STH has posted hundreds of articles, reports and photographs about the landslide situation here on our blogspot (http://www.savethehills.blogspot.com).
We have also written and spoken to numerous government officials urging them to identify critical landslide prone areas and commence appropriate landslide prevention measures on a war footing during the dry season. Regrettably, nothing has been done in this regard.
Now that the rains have started in the hills, I place before you signatures of 640 home owners in the vicinity of Kalimpong town who fear that their lives/ homes/ and property will be lost to landslides in the monsoon months ahead.
Whereas the signatures appended are those from locations around Kalimpong town, there will be many more from the remote parts of Kalimpong subdivision.
And if we were to include the entire district, there would thousands.
May I fervently request you to kindly intervene?
Wg Cdr (retd)
- Governor, Rajbhavan, Kolkatta,W.
- Chief Minister, Writer’s Building, Kolkatta, Govt of W. Bengal
- Dr RK Bhandari, Chairman CDMM, VIT, Vellore
- Administrator, DGHC, Lal Kothi,
- SDO, Kalimpong
- Rajeev Ravidas, Telegraph, Kalimpong
- Kishor Saha, Anand Bazar Patrika, Siliguri
- Press Club of Kalimpong/ Dainandini TV
Details of Signatures
Location/ Village No of Signatures
1. Alaichi khop 113
2. Bara Bhalukhop bustee 64
3. Chibbo 60
4. Dhwang Dara 17
5. Dr Graham’s Homes Dispensary 30
6. Dungra Bustee 39
7. Gumba Hatta 14
8. Pudung Bustee 39
9. Saipatri Bustee 53
10. Sindebung bustee 139
11. Tirpai Bazar 72
Comment by Praful Rao
The above letter and 640 signatures of people from the above areas have been despatched today to the PM and the other persons listed , some by speedpost others by courier.