SaveTheHills(STH) is a group of concerned citizens who are raising awareness about landslides in Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya.
Many landslides are the direct or indirect result of human interference and preventable if sufficient care is taken.
As such, unless we begin a comprehensive and sustained program towards landslide management, prevention and mitigation, the consequences of ignoring years of human callousness will, in the future be devastating.
Cyclone 'NADA' has formed in the Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall in Tamil Nadu in the early hours of the morning on 02Dec2016. Thus far in 2016, we have had 3 Cyclones forming in the Bay of Bengal - Roanu, Kyant and now Cyclone NADA
Subsequent to the first meeting called by NDMA for the Formulation of a National Strategy on Landslide Risk Management, Component 'V' which is responsible for preparation of Mountain Zone Regulations and Policies met for two days in Kalimpong.
Being a member of this Component,I am extremely happy that the 6 member team could visit the Chibo-Pashyor landslide area in Kalimpong and also interact with affected members of the community in a focused group discussion.
For those interested, the following six major components have been formed for formulating the National Landslide Strategy by the NDMA :-
I. Generation of User-Friendly Landslide Hazard Maps
II. Development of Landslide Monitoring and Early Warning System (EWS)
IV. Capacity Building and Training of stakeholders
V. Preparation of Mountain Zone Regulations & Policies
VI. Stabilization and Mitigation of Landslides & Creation of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for Landslide Management
One of the central roles of STH has been spreading awareness about landslides - a hazard form whose impact on mountain communities has been neglected and under-estimated to a large degree the world over.
As such we have used every opportunity to engage with visiting teams both from India and abroad in the many landslide familiarization visits we have made over the years - records of all such visits are documented in this blog. In Oct 2016 as a part of this program, we took two visiting delegates of IIIT (Hyderabad) for a tour of landslides in and around Kalimpong on 08/09Oct2016. The institute is working on landslide prediction equipment which they would probably be installing in the Chibo-Pashyor landslide zone.
Extract of JTWC statement on Cyclone 'KYANT' :- ' UPPER-LEVEL ANALYSIS SHOWS A POINT SOURCE JUST TO THE EAST OF THE SYSTEM INTRODUCING SOME EASTERLY WIND SHEAR NOT
CONDUCIVE FOR REDEVELOPMENT. THE UPPER LEVEL ENVIRONMENT IS EXPECTED
TO REMAIN UNFAVORABLE AS THE DEEP-LAYERED RIDE BUILDS ESTABLISHING
PREDOMINANT EASTERLY FLOW ALOFT. THE REMNANTS OF TS KYANT IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE ON A TRACK TO THE WEST-SOUTHWEST ALONG THE
SOUTHERN PERIPHERY OF THE BUILDING DEEP-LAYERED RIDGE TO THE
NORTHWEST. THIS IS THE FINAL WARNING ON THIS SYSTEM BY THE JOINT
TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI. THE SYSTEM WILL BE CLOSELY MONITORED
FOR SIGNS OF REGENERATION.' Praful Rao, Kalimpong, Dist Darjeeling