Tuesday, June 21, 2011

From the "Telegraph" today -21Jun2011

Landslide hits school - Finger at hotel drains 
Darjeeling, June 20: A landslide allegedly triggered by poor drainage system in a hotel dumped debris and muck in the compound of Nepali Girls’ Higher Secondary School in Darjeeling, about an hour before students were to gather on the campus for assembly.
The landslide at 6.45am completely destroyed the school’s assembly shed, where students were to gather an hour later, and the muck from the hotel Camino’s septic tank entered the institution’s premises.
“On rainy days we conduct our assembly at the shed and it is by God’s grace that students escaped the disaster today,” said Aditi Biswas, the headmistress of the girls’ school.
The school, which was founded in 1890, has more than 1,700 students on its roll. “Mud and slush has also entered the school building. The entire septic tank of the hotel has crashed into the school building and the hostel,” said Biswas. The government-aided school managed by the Church of North India has around 80 boarders. But all the boarders escaped as the rubbles fell on a different portion of the hostel.
“Our repeated complaints to the hotel authorities about the poor drainage system have been in vain. Some years ago, pine trees, too, had crashed on the school building. but luckily no one was injured even then,” said the headmistress.
Following the landslide, the school was closed today for the summer vacation and it will reopen on July 3.
“The school was to close for summer holiday after a few days. We have, however, decided to close it from today itself as it would be dangerous to open the school as more landslides could occur anytime because of the rain. Unless proper protection work is done and the slush cleared, there is no question of keeping the school open,” said Biswas.
C.B. Pradhan, owner of hotel Camino along Gandhi road, said the landslide had occurred as the school authorities had recently fell pine trees just below the hotel.
“They had felled the trees only recently and the landslide was triggered because of heavy rains. Nevertheless, we will start clearing the mud and constructing a retention wall on a war footing from tomorrow morning,” said Pradhan.

Praful Rao

1 comment:

DeepakG said...

Great work SUMI & STH!
Keep it up...

Sad to hear about the recent slide in Sikkim killing more than 14. We need to educate more of the citizens and take pro-active steps to prevent disasters like this.