Landslide Congress in Lucknow last year and it was again a unique privilege to attend the second one in Guwahati, in the state of Assam, on the 15-16Sep2011.
The Congress was the initiative of Indian Landslides (NIIM, Shillong) with Dr RK Avasthy (former Director, Geological Survey of India) as the convenor - and it was backed to the hilt by NEC member, Shri PP Shrivastav (IAS).
There were 24 presentations made in 4 technical sessions and what emerged from the Congress was :-
- Recognition that landslides are perhaps the most devastating of disaster forms (because of its frequency of occurrence and destruction of life and property) and also the most neglected - as such the necessity to give it much more importance.
- The North East India had along with landslides, multiple hazards such as earthquakes which could trigger landslides and hence the necessity of developing a holistic strategy to combat these hazards.
- All the north eastern states (ie the 7 sisters and the lone brother ie Sikkim) were supposed to submit the geographical location and details of two major landslides which were impacting human lives and property to the Member, NEC (Shri PP Shrivastava, IAS) by 31Oct2011. Further analysis of these landslides with respect to early warning and landslide prediction would be undertaken by IIT Mumbai under the stewardship of Prof TN Singh.
- I am glad to say that they have agreed to include 2 landslides from Darjeeling district also even though the district is in West Bengal and as such not a part of NEC. I shall be forwarding the required details to Member NEC soon.
My grateful thanks to Dr RK Avasthy, Convener of the 2ILC and Shri PP Shrivastava (IAS), Member, North Eastern Council (NEC) for organizing this congress and bringing to focus what is a long neglected issue.