Friday, March 30, 2012

Nainital's nemesis : Baliya Nala Landslides

The field trip in the National Conference on Landslides took us to the Baliya Nala landslides which is the scourge of Nainital and which is not too different from the many landslides which are around Kalimpong. Without being over simplistic, the landslides seems to be caused by a natural drain which receives water from the outflow of the Nainital Lake. As with the many jhoras which causes severe erosion and landslides both on the eastern and western faces of Kalimpong, this natural drain now is unable to handle volumes and velocities of water which flows in it  - without causing the scouring and the huge landslide problem.
The difference is perhaps that whereas Uttarkhand has spent approx Rs 37 crores (approx $7.3 million) in elaborate preventive and mitigation measures we in Kalimpong have not even executed one major work to control our problems.
Yet despite this huge expense and all the technical expertise from IIT Roorkee and others, this landslide continues to wreak havoc in Nainital.

Praful Rao

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