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Repairs and family shift for landslide-hit villages

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 9, 2009

Nimbong village dotted with landslides that occurred on the intervening night of July 2 and 3.

Nimbong village dotted with landslides that occurred on the intervening night of July 2 and 3.

Kalimpong, July 8: The DGHC today announced a host of relief measures for the landslide-hit villages under Nimbong, Pabringtar and Singey gram panchayats.

The landslides occurred in the villages under the Kalimpong subdivision on the intervening night of July 2 and 3, killing one person, damaging roads, destroying houses and snapping power and water supply.

The measures include restoration of road links, repair of power lines and relocation of affected families. DGHC administrator B.L. Meena, who toured the affected villages today, told The Telegraph that some of the works had already begun and more would be started this week.

Officials of the DGHC’s Kalimpong Engineering Division (KED), public health engineering department, irrigation department and rural electricity department were with Meena. “Four landslides occurred in Nimbong and seven at Borbat in Pabringtar. In all, 15-16 major and minor landslides took place in both the panchayats,” said Meena.

He added that 12 landslides had hit villages under Singey gram panchayat.

The restoration of road links is moving fast with the Nimbong-Bakrakote route being all but cleared of debris till Cfuikhim. “Only a short stretch of about 200 metres near Borbat has to be restored and that work will be over tomorrow,” said Meena. However, the forest road that begins from Cfuikhim is still in a shambles and he made no mention of that route.

As a big landslide made many houses completely unsafe at Nimbong, families living there will have to be shifted elsewhere. “Seventy-eight families at Centre Gaon, Paila Line and Chhetri Jhora in Nimbong will have to be relocated. They cannot approach the road and they are almost cut off from the outside world,” said the administrator.

In Nimbong and Suruk under Samtar gram panchayat, the irrigation department will carry out jhora protection work to streamline the flow of water. The estimate, Meena said, had already been prepared and the work would begin this week.

Work on restoring water and power supply will also be taken up this week in all affected areas. “The villages of Longrap and Yelbong will be electrified as the people there demanded it,” said Meena.

Meena also instructed the KED to prepare an estimate for constructing buildings for 11 primary schools under Pabringtar, Nimbong, Samtar and Yangmakum panchayats.

Asked about the overall quantum of loss suffered, Meena said the Darjeeling district magistrate was on the job. The district magistrate, he said, had already submitted a report to the state government regarding the damage to the houses and would be preparing similar assessments of the loss of arable land and livestock.

Source: The Telegraph


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