This is my letter to Mr ND Chingappa (IAS), Chief Secretary, Govt of Sikkim, Gangtok, Sikkim (faxed and confirmed received at his office today).
Landslide Hazard in the
Dear Mr Chingappa,
As you would know, in Sep07 the whole of
From our experience thus far we have concluded that:-
a) Most of the landslides which have taken place in the recent past are the direct or indirect result of human action on the environment. As such this hazard must be combated by amongst other things, a massive awareness program in the entire hills of this area.
b) Experts such as Dr RK Bhandari, Centre for Disaster Mitigation and Management (CDMM), Vellore Institute of Technology must be brought in to offer short and long term solutions to the problem of landslides.
c) As per the Geological Survey of India, the nodal body looking after landslide hazard in the country, the entire region of
d) Years of neglect by ignoring the hazard, underestimating the seriousness of the problem and non implementation of preventive measures has brought the whole area into a situation which is both serious and perilous – any further delay in taking proactive steps at the government and NGO levels will spell doom to the peoples living in large parts of these hills in the near future.
With all these factors in mind, it will be only apt to conduct a workshop on landslides and disaster management, drawing in experts, NGOs and concerned government departments of the Centre and State as soon as is possible. I understand a work shop was organized in 2004 by the Indian Institute of Geomorphologists (IGI) in Gangtok but what was the eventual outcome of the exercise is not known to me.
Please visit http://www.savethehills.blogspot.com to have a look at reports, letters, issues and photographs which have emerged from our 6 month long study of the landslide problem in the hills of