Landslide awareness drive under way in hilly areas

“Only round-the-year ban on earth cutting can mitigate mishap risk” 

GUWAHATI: The Kamrup Metro District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has embarked on a three-month project of ‘door-to-door landslide awareness programme through community participation’ in the hilly areas from Monday.

The objectives of the project are to engage the community for landslide vigil on landslide hazards, take non-structural risk mitigation measures at household level and intensify campaigns taken up earlier.

This season, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority plans to cover 9,000 households in the landslide vulnerable communities across 20 hillocks in and around the city.

Meanwhile, the All Assam Students Union, Kamrup metro unit has said that unless earth-cutting in the hills is not banned round the year, such a house-to-house campaign might not be as effective as planned.

“The district administration had enforced a ban on earth cutting in the hills only from May 1, 2019, which we think is a reactive move. Instead, a ban on unscientific hill cutting should be enforced in vulnerable hilly areas throughout the year. Permissions on activities in vulnerable areas should never be given,” AASU Kamrup metro district general secretary, Dibyajyoti Medhi told The Shillong Times here on Tuesday.

According to official reports, one person was reported to have died in a landslide in Kamrup metro district this season. Besides, an elderly man was injured recently in a land-slip in the 11 Mile area of Jorabat near the inter-state border.

Studies conducted have revealed that heavy rain during monsoon season coupled with weak geological formation in the hills increases the incidence of landslides. 

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