So AILA has come and gone and in its aftermath has left 27 people dead (20 in Darjeeling and 7 in Kurseong), many,many houses damaged, 2 National HydroElectric Power Corporation (NHPC) dams badly mauled, several stretches of arterial roads in tatters and a lot of people anxious and worried that we still have 4 months of the monsoons ahead of us which will bring in 2500mm of rain at least.
This is precisely the type of scenario, we in STH have been shouting hoarse about, where landslides take place in densely populated urban areas and where the causes for these slides are largely anthropogenic. In the course of the past 3-4 days I have talked to many people from Darjeeling and Kurseong and ALL unanimously agree that the landslides were caused by drainage related problems.
Placed in this page are images from Darjeeling.
(Photo credits :- My thanks to Kanta Pradhan, Suman Tamang, Rueben Pradhan and Rabin Rai for allowing use of these photographs)
- Praful Rao