Dist Admin launches door to door awareness programme for landslide vigil
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Dist Admin launches door to door awareness programme for landslide vigil

| July 20, 2019 14:51 hrs

GUWAHATI: In the wake of imminent threat posed by landslides over the residents living in the hilly areas of the city, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration has started an awareness drive to keep an eye on those areas.

The three-month drive, “Door to Door Landslide Awareness Programme through Community Participation” was launched on July 15 in Hengerabari area of Guwahati.

According to District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), Kamrup (M), the awareness drive aims to engage community for landslide vigil on landslide hazards, take non-structural risk mitigation measures at household level and intensify its earlier campaigns.

As part of the project, DDMA will reach out to 9,000 households with door-to-door campaigns in the landslide-prone communities living in 20 hillocks across Guwahati.

In a statement issued by the Kamrup (M) district administration said, “Sensitisation and landslide risk mitigation activities among vulnerable communities with their active participation on the landslide-prone hillocks of Guwahati will result in involvement and ownership of mitigation activities by the vulnerable communities.”

Five teams comprising officials from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), DDMA, Police, Forest, Soil Conservation and NGO members will be involved in the coordination and monitoring of the project.

The team members will visit the households in the hilly areas to create awareness on landslide. They will also take plantation drives in the landslide-prone areas as part of the campaign.  

Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) is also involved in the awareness drive.

Over the last two years, ASDMA along with DDMA of Kamrup (M) had initiated a systematic awareness campaign that covered vulnerable communities in 20 hillocks of Guwahati.

The first year’s plan included general campaigns with Dos and Don’ts while the second year’s campaign had a cluster approach with group discussion with community members.

Kamrup (M) district administration further noted, “There is frequent incidence of landslide in and around Guwahati city during rainy season. The problem of landslides sometimes go unnoticed or individual landslides are being dealt with ad hoc response mechanisms and the problem keep on recurring every year.

“Scientific studies have also revealed that heavy rain during monsoon season followed by weak geological formation in the city contributes to increasing landslide risk along with anthropogenic factors like haphazard expansion of the city, deforestation, encroachment of hill slopes, unscientific cutting and filling for construction contribute significantly for landslide risk.”

So far this year, one person has succumbed to injuries after getting hurt in a landslide at Gorchuk’s Katahbari area of Guwahati. The man, identified as Narayan Saha, was a resident of Bethani Hill.

On the other hand, one person was severely injured in a recent incident of landslide that occurred on the Rani-Gorchuk connecting road. The massive landslide disrupted the entire stretch of Koinadhora Path as well as damaged two houses.

Furthermore, torrential rains over the past week have triggered a landslide on patch of a newly constructed road in Amiya Nagar area of Chandmari hill near Holy Child School. Fortunately, no injury or death was reported in the landslide.

Kamrup (M) district administration has identified more than 365 landslide-prone areas in the city to prevent further injuries or deaths.

As per an assessment carried out by DDMA, Kamrup (M), the areas that are prone to landslide in the district include Fatasil, Garbhanga, Gotanagar, Kahilipara, Kharghuli, Maligaon, Koinadhara, Noonmati, Hengerabari, Jalukbari-Lankeswar, Kalapahar, Santipur, Sarania, Sukreswar, Sunsali, Kakamkya-Nilachal, Khanapara-Aamchang, Nabagraha, Narakasur, and Narengi.

Human settlements in those areas are posing a longstanding concern for the district administration; people living in those areas aggressively confront the authority whenever there is an eviction drive against them.  

Even the government’s hands are seemingly to tied up when it comes to evicting those people, majority of whom have migrated from rural areas in search of livelihood.

As per ASDMA data, as many as 17 people had lost their lives due to landslide in Kamrup (M) in 2016.

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