Friday, February 15, 2008

GSI recommendations ignored

The Geological Survey of India (GSI- is the nodal body for landslides in India and is responsible for carrying out hazard studies in landslide prone areas.

Placed below are the recommendations from a "Report on Landslide Hazard Micronzonation of Kalimpong Municipal area for Urban Planning" dated July 2001, carried out by the GSI.


Only the low hazard zones should be utilized for human settlement. It is recommended to construct only 2-3 storied building after considering ground realities, especially the slope factor and the load bearing capacity of the soil/rock.

Assam type houses (light structure with akra panel wall) maybe constructed on moderate susceptibility zone. It may be noted that this zone is in a metastable condition. Any unplanned cutting may change the stability and marginally stable ground may become unstable.

High susceptibility zone and very high susceptibility hazard zone should be utilized for forest development which will reduce the THED and thus landslide susceptibility. Similarly easing of slope by benching and proper drainage system should be developed to reduce the landslide susceptibility. In very susceptible zones preventive measures are to be taken up immediately so as to stop the chances of further landslides and to reduce the rate of lateral and headward aggressions of the existing slides.

Such LHZ assessment should be repeated at least once in a decade and after some natural calamity to evaluate the changing status, since all susceptible stages are part of a continuum."

Though this report was given to the Govt more than 6yrs ago, I am unaware of any action being taken in terms of "proper drainage system being developed" or"preventive measures to be taken immediately to stop further landslides".

I also daresay that many of the landslides which took place within the municipal limits in Sep2007, did so in the "high susceptibility zone and very high susceptibility hazard zone" as mapped by the GSI and some (like the Alaichikhop /Chota Bhalukhop, Tharpacholing landlsides etc) were the direct result of improper/ nonexistent drainage. The landslide in Chota Bhalukhop resulted in 2 fatalities.

praful rao

ps:- the italics in the GSI recommendations are mine


C said...

why do we have to wait untill lives are lost to take steps? This is shameful.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.