Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Pittsburgh University tour of landslide affected areas and Seminar on "Sustainability and Landslide Disaster Management" - 06/07May2010

SaveTheHills (STH) has interacted with people from the Swanson School of Engineering, Pittsburgh University (USA) earlier ( see here).

On 06May2010, STH toured landslide affected areas of Kalimpong (CHIBO/PASHOR area and SINDEBUNG ) with 5 members of the Pittsburgh
team. We showed them what is causing the landslides (a massive drainage problem) and the rate and scale at which destruction is taking place.
On 07May2010, we conducted the seminar on "Sustainability and Landslide Disaster Management" as per program and schedule. In addition to the line up of excellent resource persons, we did have two officials of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) attending the seminar.  I daresay the seminar was appreciated by one and all.
Spin offs from the seminar are :-
  • NDMA rep Mr Nawal Prakash has said he would look into the possibility of conducting mock search and rescue exercises in the district. (Something which I am sure has never been done in the recent past at least in Darjeeling district).
  • There is a possibility that a project to assess landslide hazards in Kalimpong town will be initiated by the Dept of Science and Technology.
  • Lastly, there is a possibility that the Univ of Pittsburgh may provide us with automatic weather stations (AWS) which will go a long way as a capacity building measure. Also they may send their students here to carry out research on landslides.

    Praful Rao
Comment by Praful Rao

My deepest thanks to Mr Roshan Rai (our MC for the event) and all our esteemed resource persons for participating in the seminar and doing so voluntarily.

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