Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Resurrecting ghosts from the past .. the 1950 landslides (in Darjeeling district)









Torrential rains (amounting to 834mm) between the 11-13Jun1950 caused massive landslides in the entire Darjeeling district. Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong were badly affected and there was extensive damage to the Darjeeling Hill Railways (DHR), roads, homes and public houses. As per official records 127 people died in the slides while hundreds more were rendered homeless.

The Teesta Valley Extension of the DHR from Siliguri thru Riyang to Geill Khola was closed permanently, as the hills were considered too dangerous.

An excerpt of a letter from Dr Rajendra Prasad, President of India , to the Governor of West Bengal is reproduced below:-

“I have received your telegram of the 15th June. I have been deeply grieved to hear of the sad toll of human life and property and the distress caused to the people of Darjeeling district in this calamity but am encouraged by your report of their high morale and the competent way in which the situation is being met”

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Comment by praful rao

Reviving these ghosts is necessary to remind us of our vulnerability to a hazard which has been ignored or downplayed for so long that it has now grown into a monster which threatens our very existence in these fragile hills.
Neglecting it any more will tantamount to committing suicide in the not too distant future.

My sincere thanks to Mr Durga Das, of DAS STUDIO, Darjeeling for making these excellent, historic pictures of Darjeeling town and its vicinity of more than half a century ago, available to STH.
At least one or two locations maybe familiar to anyone who has been to or lives in Darjeeling....


1 comment:

Darjeeling Brew said...

Thanks for this fantastic photo documentation.