Monday, June 16, 2008

Two photographs and a letter to the District Magistrate (DM)

The letter below has been emailed to the DM yesterday...

Shri Rajesh Pandey, IAS
District Magistrate,
Darjeeling District,

Wg Cdr Praful Rao (retd)

Landslide Prevention Work in Darjeeling District

Dear Sir,

I have just returned from a two day workshop held on Disaster Preparedness organized by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), (Govt of India) in collaboration with the North Eastern Council, Govt of Meghalaya and Lady Keane College, Shillong. The workshop was held at Shillong on 10-11Jun2008 and I attended the meeting on the invitation of the NDMA.

At the workshop, speaker after speaker and especially the participating NDMA members , Lt Gen (Dr) JR Bhardwaj, PVSM AVSM VSM PHS (retd) and Shri KM Singh, IPS (retd) emphasized on the paradigm shift in disaster management from a “relief-centric” and “post-event” response, to a regime that lays greater emphasis on preparedness, prevention and mitigation.

Since the landslides of Sep2007, SaveTheHills (STH) has filed many reports and written numerous letters to the Darjeeling district administration, identifying many landslide prone areas in the district; I have also briefed the Administrator, Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), Shri BL Meena, IAS at length on the grave landslide situation prevailing in some parts of the district (brought about by incessant rains last year). All these and more are available on our blogsite

Assuming therefore, that the administration is fully aware of the landslide situation in the district, I urge you to kindly take up short term preventive work immediately (which in many cases would consist of correcting drainage patterns and training of mountain streams ie jhoras in populated areas.)
Though much time has been lost without any proactive preventive action being undertaken, these measures may still lead to saving lives in the monsoon months ahead.

Yours sincerely

(Praful Rao)

Copy to:-

a) Lt Gen (Dr) JR Bhardwaj, PVSM AVSM VSM PHS (retd)
Member, NDMA
b) Dr Mohan Kanda, IAS (retd)
Member, NDMA
c) Shri KM Singh, IPS (retd)
Member, NDMA
d) Dr RK Bhandari
e) Mr BL Meena, IAS
Administrator (DGHC)

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