Friday, May 23, 2008

A letter to the Governor, West Bengal

Placed below is a copy of the email sent on 21May2008 to the Governor, West Bengal

Your Excellency,
Kindly recollect that I had emailed you with respect to the landslide hazard here in Sep-Oct 2007.
Since then the volume of letters/reports/photographs and data on our blogsite ( ) has grown and become a large testimony to the severe landslide hazard we face in this part of the world.
However, I regret to inform you that despite all the evidence on the blog and our many letters to appropriate authorities, virtually nothing has been done with regard to landslide prevention in the last 8 months. Critical, densely populated areas where emergency prevention work ought to have taken place on a war footing in the intervening dry months lie without a stone being moved since Sep2007. Now with the monsoon just weeks away people living in these areas are mortally scared and though a disaster management meeting did take place in the DM's office in Darjeeling last week it was a routine one where preventive action was not discussed.
I attach 4 maps of landslide/landslide prone areas in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik. Though the maps are not accurate, they nevertheless portray the scale to which these areas have been ravaged by landslides.
Suffice it to say that should it rain like it did last year, there will be devastation here.

Yours faithfully,

with high regard

Praful Rao
Wg Cdr (retd)

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