SaveTheHills(STH) is a group of concerned citizens who are raising awareness about landslides in Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya.
Many landslides are the direct or indirect result of human interference and preventable if sufficient care is taken.
As such, unless we begin a comprehensive and sustained program towards landslide management, prevention and mitigation, the consequences of ignoring years of human callousness will, in the future be devastating.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
STH activity : Participating in CASA's Program on 'Climate Change and Impact on Lives and Livelihoods' :19Mar2019 (Darjeeling)
Major issues highlighted:
water security problems in the entire Dooars and mountain regions.
Security in the mountains almost non-existent with the rural youth not
interested in farming due to low yield, crop disease, water shortage, human-
wildlife conflict in the backdrop of climate change.
focus on cash crops in mountain agriculture has led to a decline in cultivation
of traditional crops such as millet, barley and even vegetables.
in cash crops in the mountains: traditional crops such as ginger, oranges and
even cardamom have almost disappeared with newer crops such as kiwi fruit,
coffee likely to replace them. The moot question is when? –with the most
important functionaries ie the relevant government departments being obsessed
with other issues. The only viable cash crop in the mountains being broomsticks
MNREGA project generates some employment for families, it has totally failed in
promoting skills among the rural hill folk.
production and the quality of tea has declined both in the Dooars and
Darjeeling hills due to migration, triggered by low wages and tea garden
companies slowly withdrawing benefits such as uniforms, homesteads, subsidized
kerosene and power bills.
scale unemployment in the Dooars belt leading again to migration and human
trafficking by organized gangs.
flooding with no little or no warning in the Alipur Duar region due to rain in
the mountains ofBhutan which charges
the Torsa and other rivers quickly and suddenly.
child labour in the Dooars with children working in factories in Bhutan on very
low wages (Rs 50/day).
and erratic rainfall and temperatures compounding problems.
and powerful role of the water vendor in Darjeeling town in a scenario where
the burgeoning population, declining rainfall has resulted in demand for water
far outstripping supply. Little or no heed however, being paid to the quality
of water being supplied.