Showing posts with label Disaster management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disaster management. Show all posts

How Bengal Government and Darjeeling Dist Administration Let People in Tingling to Die

9:37 AM
Special Report: Upendra for The Darjeeling Chronicle

When landslides happened in Tingling, the only group of people who were not shocked were the Tingling residents.

They knew this day was coming. In fact, they had known this day would come since 2011.
Following the 2011 earthquake, land had started to sink in, in Limbu Gaon Tingling. Worried over the sinking, Mr. Dipesh Thapa wrote to the district administration via the Manager of Singbully, to kindly take stock of the landslide threat posed to the village and had pleaded, "arrange us shifting to another safe place within Tingling TE (sic).” The letter dated November 30, 2011 was received by Mirik BDO and Mirik Police Station on behalf of the District Administration.
The letter dated November 30, 2011 was received by Mirik BDO
The letter dated November 30, 2011 was received by Mirik BDO
The district administration allegedly did not take any action, following which, the local people sent another letter to the North Bengal Debelopment Minister, requesting specifically, "we the residents of Tingling Limbu Gaon, under Mirik Block would like to draw your attention of your kind intervention in saving lives of villagers who are under severe threat due to unceasing landslide just below the village (sic)"
letter to the North Bengal Debelopment Minister
Letter to the North Bengal Debelopment Minister
Following this, the Mirik Block Development Office had conducted a survey and found that the threat was sever. However, the BDO Office could not act on the matter, as it required higher authorities to take the decision.

In a letter dated 18th of July 2013, which the Mirik BDO had CC:ed to 1) The District Magistrate, DMS, Darjeeling 2) The Sub-Divisional Officer, DMS, Kurseong and 3) The Executive Engineer, Irrigation and Water Ways Department, Kurseong Mirik BDO writes, "As per field enquiry it is found fact that there is a huge landslide directly affected to the above said village... it is beyond the capacity of the establishment to protect the landslide affected area as desired by the villagers. You are hereby requested to consider the matter urgently."
Letter to the  Manager of Singbully
Letter to the  Manager of Singbully
However, the district administration did not take any action, nor did the North Bengal Minister.
Despite three and a half years of head-start, the Darjeeling District Adminstration and the Bengal government failed to act on repeated pleas by the residents of Tingling, Limbu Gaon. Today the Limbu Gaon is no more, the entire village has been washed away due to the landslide of June 30th night.

It is devastating to learn that the loss of precious human life could have been averted, had the district administration and the North Bengal Minister acted on those repeated requests and desperate please sent by the residents of Limbu Gaon, 20 of who are dead today.

This is a clear case of dereliction of duty, on the part of Darjeeling District Administration and the North Bengal Minister, leading to the death of 19 individuals, which makes it a case of culpable homicide.

The State government has blood on their hands, and hence we all need to write to the Supreme Court of India to order an inquiry to ascertain the responsibilities and initiate criminal proceedings against those who have cause the willful death of our hill people.

[We are MOST THANKFUL to Voice of Mirik For Breaking this news story, and for kindly sharing these letters with us]

Via - TheDC

Darjeeling Landslide Property worth Rs 50 cr lost

11:13 AM
On July 1, landslides had hit Darjeeling, Mirik, Kalimpong and Kurseong, killing at least 40 people.
Days after multiple landslides hit Darjeeling district, authorities on Sunday said property worth at least Rs 50 crore has been damaged. This, even as the state government is still gathering data to ascertain the loss.
Landslide-hit Mirik near Siliguri.
“Considering the houses damaged in our jurisdiction, the loss has been estimated to be around Rs 20 crore. But in areas under Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), houses have been demolished and bridges and roads maintained by PWD washed away. Overall, the loss figure will rise significantly and easily cross the Rs 50-crore mark. One bridge built by PWD alone will cost around Rs 10 crore in repair,” Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava said.

On July 1, landslides had hit Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, killing at least 40 people. Srivastava on Sunday said that while one more body was recovered, 10 people are still missing.
This comes a day after another landslide occurred near Kalijhora. But as there was no house in the area, no casualty or injury was reported.

As weather conditions have improved on Sunday after days of incessant rain, rescue work continued in full swing. Around 30 earthmovers have been engaged in removing debris. A part of the damaged NH-10 was also opened Sunday to establish a link between Kalimpong and Sikkim. PWD authorities have built a temporary bridge across Rakti river after the existing one was washed away and vehicles started plying on Sunday. Damaged roads in Kalimpong have also been restored for vehicular traffic.
Asked whether there was a chance of an outbreak of any epidemic, the DM said: “Doctors are visiting relief camps everyday. Additional toilets have been built and chlorinated drinking water is being served. Special care is being taken towards sanitation… All measures have been taken to stop an epidemic.”

“As many as 33 relief camps have been set up in the district, which are accommodating 3,100 people at present. Search operations will continue till we find the 10 people who are missing… We have been able to send relief materials to the remotest parts of the landslide-affected areas,” he added.
People who had taken shelter in the three relief camps in Tingling and Lamagaon villages following the landslides are gradually returning home, officials said. Around 200 to 250 families have been sheltered in those camps and now only those whose houses have been completely destroyed are staying in the camps.

The GTA has informed the Centre about the damages in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, said Kalimpong MLA and GTA member Harkha Bahadur Chhetri. “Around 400 houses have either been damaged or destroyed in the disaster,” Chhetri said.
GTA chief Bimal Gurung had on Saturday called up Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to provide an update on the disaster. The state government is also conducting an assessment of the landslide-battered districts and the report will be sent to the Centre.

Source - Indian Express

Mamata Banerjee visits landslide-affected areas in Darjeeling

7:44 PM
Darjeeling 2nd July 2015: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claims that she traveled by road to the worst affected areas of landslide-hit Darjeeling hill where at least 38 people have been reported dead and missing . She said that it took her 6 hour to reach Mirik from Siliguri owing to the road condition caused by the landslide which would normally take one hour.
Mamta Banerjee Visits Mirik Landslide Affected Areas
Mamta Banerjee Visits Mirik Landslide Affected Areas
Mamata Banerjee  in the social media wrote
"I travelled more than six hours to reach Mirik from Siliguri to personally see the damages caused due to landslides. It was a difficult journey, especially after the fresh landslides last night.
On my way, I stopped at various relief camps to meet the landslide affected families. The largest camp is at Soureni, where more than 500 people are accommodated. I distributed compensation cheques and relief kits to the family members.
I also visited the spots where major landslides took place. Our administration is working relentlessly to extend support and assistance to the affected people and areas.
I am continuously monitoring the relief activities. 
We are with my brothers and sisters all the time."

The CM reached here last night and took updates from the local administration about the extent of rescue work in Mirik, Kalimpong and other areas in Darjeeling district.

Since Tuesday night, heavy rain triggered a string of landslides in the mountainous Darjeeling district of West Bengal, killing at least 38 people, swamping homes, washing away highways and throwing normal life out of gear.

Kalimpong landslide Six persons dead, six missing

9:16 AM
Six persons died and six went missing after heavy rains lashed Kalimpong subdivision last night and caused landslides.
The extent of damage caused by the 137mm rain, which Kalimpong received in 24 hours since 8.30am yesterday, is not yet known.

"Six persons died and another six are untraced. Of the six deaths, two are in the Kalimpong municipality area, two in block I, one each in blocks II and III," said Radhika Aiyar, the subdivisional officer of Kalimpong.

The rain triggered landslides at different places, causing widespread damage to houses, farmland and roads.

Six persons have been officially categorised as missing.

They are Ramesh Rai and Kusum Rai his wife from Nurserygaon at 7th Mile on the outskirts of the town and a four-member family from the remote Lingseykha village near the border with Sikkim.

Their names are not yet known.

The deceased include the son of the missing farmer couple, Amrit Rai, 9 who died after their house was swept away by a huge landslide when the family was sleeping.

Sanjay Gazmer, 30, and Priya Sarki, 25, died when their kutcha house came under slush during a landslide at Topkhana in the 11th Mile area of the town.

Alisha Rai, 18, of Minbusty in Gorubathan, D. Doma Sherpa, 14, from Lava village in Algarah block and Jai Prakash Rai, 60, from Paiyung village in Algarah block are also among the deceased.

Amrit Rai's elder brother, Vivek, 14, was injured in the incident, and is recovering at the Kalimpong subdivisional hospital.

Road links to many villages have been severed and acres of farmland have been destroyed.

"We are completely cut-off from the rest of the world. Please come and see our plight," said a teacher of a school in Gitdabling village, around 30km from here.

D. Nag, the block development officer of Kalimpong II, said many roads had been damaged and had cave-ins.

"Many villages in my block cannot be reached by road because of the damage caused by the landslides. We are finding it difficult to send teams to carry out damage assessment," he said.

P. K. Pal, the assistant meteorologist of the flood meteorology office in Jalpaiguri, said the amount of rain Kalimpong received in a period of 24 hours could be categorised as "very heavy".

"Yesterday, we had issued a warning for heavy rain in sub-Himalayan Bengal for the next 72 hours, but what happened last night was very heavy rain," he said over the phone.

Source: Telegraph

Darjeeling landslide death toll reached 38 - Teesta rising alarmingly

7:56 PM
38 killed in landslide in Darjeeling; PM Modi announces Rs 2 lakh compensation for victims' families

At least 38 people were killed in landslides triggered by heavy rainfall across Darjeeling district of West Bengal on Wednesday.

The water in the Teesta barrage is rising alarmingly and the administration has started the evacuation process in the adjoining areas of the river.

Following incessant rains, the Teesta river has overflowed and as many as 400 people residing in the Dhupguri and Biren basti beside the river bank, are stranded. Their mud houses have been destroyed in the flood.

Darjeeling landslide death toll reached 38 - Teesta rising alarmingly
Darjeeling landslide death toll reached 38 - Teesta rising alarmingly
While the official figure of the death toll stood at 35, more reports of deaths are pouring in.
The incessant rainfall that hit the district on Tuesday night triggered massive landslides all across the hills and swept away several houses.

Two NDRF and NDMA teams are working at the landslide site, besides the SSB and state national disaster teams.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain over the loss of lives and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.

He directed Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju to go to the locations to take stock of the situation. A team from NDRF is extending all possible support, Modi said.
"Deeply pained at the loss of lives due to the landslides in Darjeeling district. Condolences to the families of the deceased," he tweeted.

"A compensation of Rs. 2 lakh from the PMNRF (Prime Minister's National Relief Fund) would be provided to the families of the deceased," he added.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that a compensation of Rs 1.25 lakh will be given to those who are injured in the landslide and a compensation of Rs 4 lakhs will be given to the family of those deceased.

The National Highway - 10 has been cut off, as a result of which hundreds of tourists are stranded at Darjeeling.

"The state administration has swung into action and the rescue operations have begun. Border force is also helping in the rescue operations. Continuous rains are stalling the rescue operations," said Binay Tamang, Morcha Leader.

On the other hand, red alert has been issued following flood-like situation at Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the North Bengal Development minister, Gautam Deb has said, "Our priority is to rescue people and provide them with medical aid. The biggest challenge is to get through the worse hit areas amidst the incessant rains."

Source: dnaindia

Mirik Landslide Death toll rises to 27

7:05 PM
Death toll in Mirik Landslide has reached 27, 19 from Tingling Limbudhura,3 from Mahinra Gaon,3 from Thana Line Mirik,one from Toklang, one from Seeyok and one from lower Deosay dara namely Ranjit Khapangi,husband of Mrs Sushila Thapa who died due to heart attack.
Mirik Landslide Death toll rises to  27
Dead body being pulled up by the people in Mirik from the mud - Photo- TheDC
PM Narendra Modi says that he is "Deeply saddened by Darjeeling tragedy due to landslides. Condolences to the family of deceased." He has instructed the Minister of state for home, Kiran Raju, to immediately head to Mirik and Darjeeling region to take stock of the situation and to oversee the rescue and relief efforts.The PM also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the deceased family from the PMNRF (Prime Minister's National Relief Fund).Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia is accompanying Minister Raju and will be reaching Bagdogra this evening. While, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to visit Mirik today or tomorrow.

NATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE (NDRF) TEAM,GTA team led by Bimal Gurung, local SSB officials, Maan Ghisingh GNLF president, Mirik Health department First-Aid team and HAMI organisation from Mirik are already on the field on rescue operation.

The death toll from devastating landslides across Darjeeling region have touched 35 and more than likely the toll will raise.

With inputs from VOS

Landslide kills at least 20 people in Mirik and Kalimpong.

9:38 AM
1 July Darjeeling; 20 people have reportedly died due to landslides in Mirik and Kalimpong IN Darjeeling district so far.
Landslide kills at least 20 people in Mirik and Kalimpong.
Landslide kills at least 20 people in Mirik and Kalimpong.
In Mirik IT IS reported that at least 14 people have been killed in Limbu Gown alone, 3 people were killed in Mahendra Gown and 2 people were killed in Thana Line area.

Similarly in Kalimpong a Class 9 student was killed in Lava, and all roads to and from Lava are shut down. Even the injured have not been able to be taken to the hospital.

Last night's rain and high wind have caused landslides across Mirik region, and reports of at least 5 houses being damaged in Mirik town itself are coming in. Electricity lines are down, and many houses in Tingling T.E are supposed to have been damaged.

Early morning, excavators were pressed into service to clear the roads and electricity personnel are on their way to mend the lines which were downed last night.

Via - TheDC

Notice to Illegal high-rises in Darjeeling by Municipality

7:03 PM
The devastation in Nepal on April 25 has brought back memories of the 2011 temblor that caused extensive damage to property in the Darjeeling hills and comes as a wake-up call to not only the civic body and the district administration but also the residents. The Darjeeling municipality has begun serving notices to owners of high rises in town, with the district administration seeking reports and the “janta” (citizens) putting up posters demanding the demolition of tall structures. The civic body conducted a survey last week and has identified 18 buildings in and around Darjeeling town to be flaunting the permissible 11.5m limit in the hilly region as per the West Bengal Municipality Act, 1993.
Notice to Illegal high-rises in Darjeeling
“The survey conducted by the municipal engineer found 18 buildings exceeding the permissible 11.5m height limit. So far, we have issued notices to two owners to demolish the portion exceeding the permissible limit,” said Darjeeling municipality chairman Amar Singh Rai on Monday.

The civic body has identified only 18 tall structures, but a closer look of the town area tell of a different story as much of it is inundated with tall and massive structures. “Going by past experience, we are well aware that owners will not give heed to our notice. This time, we want to shake them up from their slumber,” Rai said.

The move comes after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung held two meetings near Mirik with chairmen and commissioners of the four municipalities in the hills following the quake in Nepal. In 2012, the municipality started regularising “illegal” (structures above 11.5 metres) buildings with hefty fines to dissuade people from constructing high structures. The municipality chairman also said the state government has set up a state-level building verification committee, especially for the Darjeeling hills and the committee is expected to visit the region soon. “The committee members are expected to visit the hills to conduct a survey of the buildings here. If they find any building flaunting the rules, they will definitely issue dismantling orders,” Rai said.

Meanwhile, district administration officials said they were not aware of the committee or any impending visit. “I am not aware of such a committee or the expected visit as I recently joined office,” said Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastav.

Posters demanding demolition of structures above 11.5 metres in height  pasted across town by the “janta” also drew flak on the civic body. “The tall and heavy illegal structures may not cause harm now but they will definitely so after 20-30 years once the buildings weaken. The lives of many people will be at stake. The corrupt municipality is to be blamed and such structures demolished immediately,” reads one of the posters pasted in the premises of the Darjeeling municipality.

Sources said the survey and records available show there are more than 400 high-rises in the town area. A majority of these buildings flaunt the rules of maintaining the permissible 11.5m height.

Source: EOI

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