Sunday, April 10, 2011

Revealing the truth : Landslide survey in Kalimpong subdivision (Sinji, Suruk and Dong villages) - 03Apr2011

Till date STH has (due to lack of resources) been restricted to reporting and commenting on the landslide situation in and around Kalimpong town only.
On 03Apr2011, however, we took a day long trip to areas south- southeast of our town ie to the villages of Sinji, Samalbong, Samthar and Suruk. These are remote areas of  Kalimpong subdivision accessible only for another month or so by vehicle - during the monsoons the roads to these villages become veritable traps for all types of vehicular traffic.
The GPS unit told us that we had clocked 59.55km at the end of the survey of landslides.
The coordinates and elevation of the landslide zones are given below :-

a) Waypoint 095 (Samalbong-West) - N27° 01.171’ E088°29.859’. Elevation 923m.
b) Waypoint 101 (Suruk village) -         N26° 58.876’ E088°28.284'.  Elevation 752m.
c) Waypoint 103 (opp Dong village)    N26° 59.357’ E088°28.412'   Elevation 529m

What was plain to see was that in the absence of any worthwhile measures to mitigate or manage the landslides, it was only a matter of time before we would have a whole lot of landslide refugees and the only option would be relocation.
The question  is where?

Comment by Praful Rao
  • I would like to apologize for the quality of some of the above photographs as there was plenty of haze and atmospheric obscurity on the day we carried out the recce.
  • Also whereas the entire area had a number of big and small landslides along  roads and forested areas, we have not documented them here. Our purpose, for the time being to highlight those landslides which are directly impacting human settlements and require urgent attention.

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