Sunday, May 4, 2008

So there was a Govt report after all...

For the many months after Sep2007 that STH has been talking about "The Silent Disaster" or the landslide disaster which was hardly noticed by anyone, one of the drawbacks was that I could not lay my hands on any Government report which spoke of any extraordinary tragedy having occurred in Sep2007 in these hills.
As such when the director of a prominent NGO operating from Kalimpong emailed his Head Office in Chennai in Sep2007, he was promptly told that in the absence of Govt reports and no coverage by the media, they could not really believe STH.
And so it must have been with many other agencies....
However, I found this SITUATION REPORT issued by the National Disaster Management Authority on 11Sep2007 on the internet today...
______________________________________________________

SITREP NO-103/2007

1700 hours

32-20/2007-NDM-I

Ministry of Home Affairs

(Disaster Management Division)

Dated, 11TH Sept, 2007

Subject: SOUTHWEST MONSOON-2007: DAILY FLOOD SITUATION REPORT

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT EVENTS AS ON 11.09.2007

IMD


  • Rainfall activity is likely to remain subdued over many parts of the country except northeastern states, West Bengal and Sikkim where fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy fall is likely to occur during next 3-4 days.
  • The axis of monsoon trough at sea level continues to run close to the foothills of the Himalayas.

The details of Unprecedented flood situation sites are as under:-

WEST BENGAL

v In Darjeeling, due to landslides, about 12,000 people are reported to have been severely affected.

v The traffic movement on National Highway-55 which was closed earlier due to a landslide near Kalimpong and Gorubathan has since been restored.

v About 1150 houses (404-fully & 746-partially) have been damaged.

v The traffic movement on National Highway (NH-31A) connecting road links to Darjeeling-Sikkim continues to be suspended.


(B.MURALI KUMAR)

DIRECTOR (DM-I)

TELEFAX: 23092696

Distribution:-

1. Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister (Shri T. K. A. Nair)

2. Cabinet Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhawan (Fax-23012095)

3. Private Secretary to the Prime Minister (Shri B.V.R. Subrahmanyam), 7, Race Course Road, New Delhi.

4. Prime Minister’s Office (Shri Sanjay Mitra, Joint Secretary).

5. Sr.PPS to Vice-Chairman, NDMA, Centaur Hotel, New Delhi.(Fax-25655019)

6. Cabinet Secretariat (Dr. S.B. Agnihotri, Joint Secretary, opted to download from website).

7. Brig Sanjiv Laumas, DACIDS (Ops & Logistics) Room No.10, INCP, Gate No-11, South Block, New Delhi. (Fax-23005226, 23005137)

Copy to:-

1. PS to HM/PS to MOS (R)

2. PS to HS/PPS to Secretary (BM)/JS-(DM-I)/JS (DM-DAC Fax-23382417)/ Director (PR)/Master Folder.

________________________________________________

Comment by Praful Rao

I find it amazing that the above report never caught the attention of the national media. Also that warnings from agencies such as the GSI (Geological Survey of India) have been persistently ignored over the years and more recently our words of caution that preventive action against landslides be initiated immediately has fallen on deaf ears until now - when we find ourselves at the brink of another 5 months of rain.



1 comment:

Darjeeling Brew said...

Doggedness pays. Thanks for all the hard work that you are putting in Daju! Awesome work!