Since most landslides in our region are rain induced, it is vital to obtain and record rainfall data. STH has been acutely aware of this and rainfall data from 2009 for some of the major towns are available in this blog.
In this regard, what we found is that there is actually no shortage of rainfall gauges with most tea gardens having some sort of meteorological observatory and many government departments also maintaining precipitation records - however, gaining access to this data is a labyrinthine process, full of bureaucratic red tape (applications in writing, payment for rainfall data etc).
In this connection, many of IMetD's superb AWS stations
are sadly not maintained and as such either give erroneous data or no data (and no amount of complaining to concerned authorities seems to set things right!)
To obviate this STH (along with a few NGOs) has decided to set up our own network of rainfall gauges in Darjeeling district and in Sikkim. Over the past 3 months we have procured 17 manual (Symon's type) rainfall gauges
which will be positioned at various locations in this region. In addition, STH already has 3 automatic rainfall gauges available Darjeeling, Mangan (North Sikkim) and Kalimpong.
Therefore, for the monsoons of 2015 we will have rainfall data from 20 stations in the Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya displayed on this blog - it will be available for free and without any red tape.