GUWAHATI, July 19 – Since 1993 till May-June 2012, altogether 126 persons were killed in the city in landslide-related incidents, said Dr Parag Phukan, an Associate Professor of the Gauhati University, Department of Geological Sciences. Dr Phukan has made the above assertion basing on the information collected from the State Fire Service Organisation, reports of the media and the Geological Survey of India and his own field survey. He was talking to this correspondent.
Landslide has become a fait accompli for the people living in the city hills because of their own folly on most of the occasions. But there are cases also when nature on its own causes such incidents.
Although the earliest record of landslide in the city indicates a landslide-related incident in Navagraha area in 1972, the recurrence is observed since 1986. And since then such incidents have shown an increasing trend both in terms of frequency and intensity particularly around the low-lying hills, which have been steadily transformed into mixed built-up land, Dr Phukan said.
Since 1982, 45 landslide-related incidents in the city have been recorded and ground for most of them was prepared by human intervention on the slopes, though rainfall is the triggering factor in almost all the cases.
It is observed that the Kalapahar area experienced highest number of landslide incidents (8) followed by Chunchali area (5). Considering the topographic distribution, maximum clustering of landslides is found between the drainage divides defined by Nilachal, Narakasur and Hengrabari Hills towards south and Chunchali and Nabagraha Hills towards north.
Though the incidents are not showing a distinctive pattern in time and space, the decadal projection show a sustained increasing trend in frequency and a spurt after 1981. So far, maximum landslide incidents (14) have been recorded in 2004 and 2005, said Dr Phukan.