Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A letter to the Administrator, (DGHC) Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council

As is known to many of the readers, after weeks of political turmoil Mr Subhas Ghising was forced to relinquish his post as Administrator (DGHC) and Mr BL Meena (IAS), Divisional Commissioner, Jalpaiguri took over this post.
Yesterday this letter was mailed to him:-


Mr BL Meena (IAS)



Lal Kothi,


Landslide prevention work in the district

Dear Sir,

By way of a brief introduction, I am Wg Cdr Praful Rao(retd) a resident of Tirpai, Kalimpong and convener of savethehills (STH) which is a movement to raise awareness about landslide hazards and its prevention in the Darjeeling hills.

2. As you would be aware, the entire hills were battered by incessant, heavy rains in the first week of Sep07 due to which we suffered a near disaster. From our inception then, we have been insisting that most landslides in this area are preventable to a large extent through awareness and corrective action. This is wholly in congruence with new approach to disaster management which advocates aggressive preventive action and mitigation rather than relying solely on post disaster measures.

3. In this regard, we had submitted an initial report to the state administration and the DGHC on the landslide situation in and around Kalimpong town in Sep2007 and requested

a) That critical landslide prone areas be identified.

b) Short term landslide prevention work such as jhora training and drainage construction be carried out on a war footing during the dry season in these areas so as to reduce hazard to the extent possible in the next monsoons.

c) Simultaneously, mid term and long term preventive and mitigation measures be commenced without delay with an aim to mitigate and prevent landslide disasters.

4. Regrettably, hardly any preventive measures against landslides have been implemented from Sep07 till date and in Kalimpong, out of Rs 8crores requested, the Irrigation Dept here has received only Rs38lac which has also been exhausted.

5. The monsoons are around the corner again and most of the areas which were adversely affected in 2007 are much more vulnerable this year; as such should it rain like it did last year, we fear there will be landslides on an unprecedented scale in the district. May we request your urgent intervention in this regard?

6. Exhaustive records, photographs and documentation regarding the devastation caused by the Sep2007 rains are available at for your kind information and necessary action.

yours sincerely,
Praful Rao,

No comments: