Guwahati: Newly constructed road collapses, triggers landslide in Chandmari hills
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Guwahati: Newly constructed road collapses, triggers landslide in Chandmari hills

Srijit Banerjee | July 15, 2019 13:18 hrs

Guwahati is surrounded by hills and is very much prone to landslides, especially during the monsoon season. Incessant rains over the past week have triggered a landslide on patch of a newly constructed road in Amiya Nagar area of Chandmari hill near the Holy Child School.

A big chunk of the side wall along with half of the road collapsed and went straight down. The houses below the slope narrowly escaped from getting hit by the broken wall.

The road was constructed under the local MLA fund by the Guwahati Metropolitan Developmental Authority (GMDA) and was not even a year old. The construction of the road started from 2017 and was completed by mid-2018. The local residents alleged that the government authorities constructed the road poorly by just laying down cement blocks and filled the gaps with river sand. They further alleged that the Public Works Department (PWD) hired a local contractor who completed the work in haste without even taking any precautionary measures against possible heavy rains triggering the chance of a landslide.

Speaking to G Plus, one of the residents said that the road was initially raw and undeveloped and after repeated request the road was finally constructed on the patch. “The road was constructed after we repeatedly requested the department. Earlier, it used to be a kutcha road, said the resident. The resident also pointed out that the road was built without a proper survey.” A local contractor was hired for the job and the construction was done without a proper survey of the path; on one side of the road there is a steep slope and they constructed the road without building a proper foundation. They dumped soil over the path and just laid the concert blocks over it, said the resident.

Further cracks have developed on other side of the path which may collapse at any time, making it more vulnerable and prone to landslide; the residents are now leaving in fear. “Already movement on the road is affected. Luckily no one was there on the road nor any vehicle was passing over it when the section of the road collapsed in the morning at around 10.30 am and right now the situation is such that anytime the entire road might collapse putting the lives of the people residing below at risk,” informed the resident.


Negligence responsible for road collapse 

The GMDA’s negligence in constructing and supervision of the road led to the disaster that put the lives of the people at risk. The unscientific method in which the road was built shows a clear picture of poor construction on the part of the GMDA.

Kailash Sarma, Secretary of the NGO Save Guwahati Build Guwahati, while speaking to G Plus said that the poor planning and wrong construction method led to such a disaster in the area. “GMDA, on its part, was very negligent in constructing the road. They should have built the guard wall from the bottom in three steps. Without doing that they just built the road and did not take any controlling method,” said Kailash Sarma. He further said that the GMDA only constructed a small wall hanging from the side facing straight down without any foundation. “The area is not landslide prone like other hill areas in the city. It was for the first time that such an incident happened here only because of the poor construction of the road. They have constructed a small wall on the side which was hanging and did not have any foundation, which is very risky,” said Sarma.  

Kailash Sarma has approached GMDA to look into the matter and fix the issue immediately as it has disrupted movement in the area. The GMDA has temporarily made a bamboo bridge. “The entire responsibility goes to the GMDA for constructing it in such a wrong manner,” said Sarma. 


Landslides continue to torment city, one succumbs to injuries 

It’s a double whammy for Guwahati residents as, on the one hand, flash floods continue to torment the public and on the other, residents living in and near hilly areas undergo the perennial fear of landslides during the rainy season. 
 
According to reports, a massive landslide on the Rani-Gorchuk connecting road disrupted the entire stretch of Koinadhora Path. The landslide damaged two houses, and one person was severely injured. Currently, vehicular movement in the area has been stopped.

In another incident a severely injured man succumbed to his injuries after he was hurt in a landslide at Gorchuk’s Katahbari area. The man, identified as Narayan Saha, was a resident of Bethani Hill.

According to reports, at around 9 am on 10th July, a huge rock fell on Saha’s house from an adjacent hill. Saha, who was home when the incident occurred, was severely injured and was taken to Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH), where he was declared dead by doctors. Saha is survived by his wife and son. 

The Assam government had recently banned excavation of land and extraction/blasting of stone within Kamrup Metropolitan District in the light of the present monsoon season because of possibilities of landslides and for greater public interest.

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