Friday, August 29, 2008

Latest photos from NHPC stage III Lo-dam (27th Mile, Kalimpong) - 28Aug08

Slide 1 - Huge cracks on the massive concrete retaining walls. There is no doubt these cracks are getting larger each day -this area is directly above the NHPC dam power house shown in slide 2.

Slide 2 - The power house area of the dam which lies directly below the cracked portion. It is apparent that work in area is causing the landslide from above.

Slide 3 - Portion of National Highway (NH) 31A just above the dam site. NH31A has a high density of heavy traffic plying between Sikkim/Kalimpong and Siliguri. The entire hill (encircled) is getting pulled down in the direction shown.

comment by praful rao

I took these photos on 28Aug08 while on my way to Siliguri. I had visited this area just 5 days earlier, yet even in this short span of time the cracks on the retaining walls only seemed to have become wider. Unfortunately, the lay people whom I met around there, one, a villager from a hamlet above, and another ,a security guard of the dam, shared my feelings - that the hill would not survive for long.

1 comment:

AK said...

The departments concerned - NHPC, Boarder Roads and even the departments of the Roads of Hill Council should have tell-tale mark to roughly measure the increase of the cracks and also assess whether it is due to traffic or is the natural movement of the overburden in summer or pull from the river side on account of the constructions. One may be able anticipate the time of collapse of the Retaining walls in normal conditions. All these information collections at different points will also help to do proper planning of the alternative road or improvement this road. Data collection is one the most important step for proper planning.Availability of more ground data will definitely help to do better planning. The present practice of the "First Aid" is very very temporary. We have to do some long term planning as the Road is the life line of Sikkim and Kalimpong. It is already established that NHPC construction is mainly responsible for the damages to the Road. The solution should be found out before the completion of the Project and solution should also be implemented during the currency of the NHPC present project. The Project of this magnitude will definitely have adequate fund to cater for such works.

There was a talk of alternative route even when "Likubhir" and other slip points had caused the disruptions of the road. Sikkim is already looking for an alternative road via Bhutan and all. Kalimpong also must have a stable and reliable road for very survival and the present road can not be relied upon and expenses to keep the road open 12 months may be beyond the financial capability of the departments like PWD or Roads. Will the Boarder roads maintain the Road forever?