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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another quake may affect Teesta course - Scientists say more tremors overdue in region...Urja project workers returning home....Injured GREF engineer rescued 40 hrs after quake....प्रशासनद्वारा उच्छेद गर्ने नोटिश - गाउँलेद्वारा उच्चन्यायलयमा मुद्दा...राज्यसभा सांसद पनि कालेबुङमा - राष्ट्रिय प्राकृतिक आपदा घोषणा गरिनुपर्छ-पाठक...विधायकले लगाए दोष पञ्चायत कर्मीहरूलाई...विधायकले सकारे अध्यक्षलाई...दैनन्दिनी च्यानल को प्रभाव - बटुल्न थाले राहत विभिन्न व्यक्तिहरूले....पंचायतले सही तारिकाले कार्य गर्नुपर्छ – डा हर्क बहादुर छेत्री...Everest tourist flight crashes - Calcutta couple among 19 killed...Sikkim road link snaps for six hours - Evacuation continues, army drops food ration...Winter fest to extend tourist season...Army wants VVIPs kept out of Sikkim....

Another quake may affect Teesta course - Scientists say more tremors overdue in region
PTI, GANGTOK, 25 SEPT: Geologists in Sikkim warn that another earthquake in the region might lead to topographical and morphological changes in the region and may even affect the course of Teesta, the major river flowing through this region.
Even as the state is yet to recover from the devastating 18 September tremor measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, scientists say that more earthquakes in the seismic region are overdue.
“Any earthquake, particularly in the hilly region which is always considered topographically vulnerable, will experience a morphological and topographical change but the extent of change after this quake cannot be assessed right now. It will take some time,” senior Geologist of Geological Survey of India in Sikkim Mr Paritosh Bhaumik said today.
When asked whether the quake will affect the course of the Teesta, Mr Bhaumik said: “Though Teesta doesn’t fall in the seismological weak lineament but another earthquake in the region will lead to the increase of glacial lakes and it will definitely affect the course of the river.”
“There are glacial lakes like Changekhempu and Zimo at Gurudambar lake which feeds Teesta. (In the event of a quake) these might start melting and increase the flow of water which will lead to flash floods and it might even to some extent change the course of the river,” Mr Bhaumik said.
“Moreover, there are many small glacial lakes in the Lachenchu region which might start melting and we cannot also ignore the possibility of the creation of new lakes but these are all subject to epicentre of the quakes and the intensity of it,” he said.
However, Geophysicist of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in India Mr Sushil Kumar said: “If the acceleration is high at the epicentre of the earthquake, nothing will be stable and the glacial lake will burst. Unfortunately, a number of these lakes are located near the seismic faults.”
Officials with Nepals National Seismological Centre (NSC) said that at least half a dozen minor tremors are recorded in the Himalayas everyday.
“The main reason why we have not witnessed the bursting of glacial lakes is because the region has not been hit by big earthquakes in recent times,” Mr Dilram Tiwari of NSC said.
“And when the magnitude of the tremor is five or above we record many after shocks as well. We know that these activities are happening in the Himalayas but we cannot confirm whether they are happening in the nearby glacial lakes because there are hardly any seismic meters installed near the glacial lakes,” he said.
Urja project workers returning home
PTI, TUNG (Sikkim), 25 SEPT: A large number of workers of the Teesta Urja hydel power project at Chungthang in north Sikkim, one of the worst-affected places in the recent quake, have abandoned their work and set out for their homes. “It was terrible spending the night at Chungthang (when earthquake occurred). And when the next morning we started for Mangan, we found that the road from Chungthang to Mangan was closed and we had to stay back,” SK Manobbar, one of the workers, said. He said that after two days the road was partially open and they took the enormous risk of trekking all the way to Mangan, about 15 km away. Manobbar, a resident of Bankura in West Bengal, said he arrived yesterday along with 29 others, all workers of the project, at Mangan and is putting up at a relief camp at nearby Naga. According to official estimates, around 1,200 people walked down from Chungtham to safer places in the plains.
Injured GREF engineer rescued 40 hrs after quake
PTI, GANGTOK, 25 SEPT: Sunday's picnic turned out to be a nightmare for two engineers of General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) ~ Vijay Pal and Samar Pal.
While Vijay lost his life, an injured Samar had to spend 40 hours under a vehicle to escape the fury of the earthquake until he was rescued by a team of Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel in Pegong, the worst-hit area in the trembler. The 11th battalion of the ITBP, which itself suffered in the wake of the quake, got a crash message from GREF headquarters based in Pegong about its two engineers who had gone on a picnic on the ill-fated day and had since not returned to their base. On 19 September, a rescue team of ITBP personnel, led by Assistant Commandant Lokinder Singh, spotted a vehicle across a tributary of the Teesta river, but could not cross due to the swollen waters despite several attempts. After a patient wait, the ITBP rescue team managed to cross the river on 20 September morning using ropes and in the process one of its jawans nearly got washed away but was saved.
On reaching the spot, they found that Vijay had died in a landslide, while Samar had hid himself under the vehicle in an injured condition. He was immediately given first aid and he told the ITBP rescue team that he had been under the vehicle since the quake hit the area at 6.11 p.m. on Sunday. He was rescued at noon on 20 September and later flown to hospital.
Army wants VVIPs kept out of Sikkim
Josy Joseph, TNN, Sep 26, 2011: NEW DELHI: The Army has given an unusual suggestion to the government for improving the relief and rescue operations in earthquake devastated regions of Sikkim - keep VVIPs off the area.
A senior government source said the Army conveyed its suggestion to the defence ministry this weekend, after the Army and IAF were forced to divert significant number helicopters and personnel for visit of various VVIPs. Among those who have already visited the region are Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and home minister P Chidambaram.
The suggestion could put an end to the plans of other Union ministers and senior political leaders to visit Gangtok and other areas of northern Sikkim where the damage has been the worst. The Army on its part is also believed to have decided not to plan a trip by the Army chief or other senior officers to avoid strain on the ongoing rescue operations.
Because of a host of factors, including the remoteness of villages, the rescue and relief operations are heavily dependent on the helicopter fleet of IAF and Army. Between the two forces, there is a fleet of Advance Light Helicopters, Cheetah/Chetak and Mi-17s in the region.
For Chungthang and beyond, the Army maintains ration of 55 days on normal times, as part of its preparedness for the border region. But since the earthquake, this ration is being distributed to local residents. Thus maintaining those ration stocks, reaching aviation fuel, diesel etc to the military formations that are beyond the road cut-off by earthquake are all dependent on helicopters.
An Army official said personnel of 33 Corps has reached almost all villages, but in many villages they found only rubble. It could be due to the residents migrating to nearest road-heads, or other villages, or there could be worse than assessed disaster buried in those villages, he admitted.
Over 90 people have been killed and a few hundred injured in the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck on September 18.
प्रशासनद्वारा उच्छेद गर्ने नोटिश - गाउँलेद्वारा उच्चन्यायलयमा मुद्दा
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज,  कालेबुङ, 25 सितम्बर। जमीनको स्वामित्व न  नगरपालिकासित छ न त पीडब्ल्युडीसित तर सन्‌ 1977 मा नै न्यायालयमा मुद्दा हारिसकेपछि पनि 34 वर्षपछि जमीनको मालिकाना हकको दाबी गर्दै पीडब्ल्युडीले 9 माइलको मॉं सन्तोषी टोलका चार परिवारलाई  21 दिनभित्र घर हटाइनु पर्ने नोटिश दिएको छ। यो टोलका मानिसहरूले यसरी पाएको नोटिश पहिलोपल्ट भने होइन। 80 को दशकमा पनि मोटर स्ट्याण्ड नै बनाउनको निम्ति यो ठाउँलाई चुनेर यो टोलका घरहरू उच्छेद गर्ने कोशिष गरिएको थियो। त्यसबेला जमीन सॉंघुरो रहेको भन्दै यो समस्यालाई टारिएको थियो। अहिले फेरि त्यही इतिहास दोहोरिएको छ। ठीक त्यही ठाउँलाई फेरि पनि जीटीएको विकासको पहिलो सूचीमा राख्दै कालेबुङको ट्राफिक सुदृड गर्न मॉं सन्तोसी टोलबाट घरहरू हटाएर अत्याधुनिक मोटर स्ट्याण्ड र मल्टिकम्प्लेक्स स्थापित गर्न नगरप्रशासन र गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा दुवै कॉंधमा कॉंध लगाएर जुटिरहेको छ। तर अहिलेसम्म जसलाई उच्छेद गरिने भएको छ उनीहरूसित भने कुनै पनि सोधखोज र सरसल्लाह नगरी अचानक घर हटाउने नोटिश दिएको छ। 
हिजो यसैको निम्ति मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङले टोलबासीसित कालेबुङको हितको निम्ति घर हटाइने सम्बन्धमा कुरा गर्न गएका थिए। गुरूङले टोलबासीलाई घर हटाइदिने अनुरोध त गरे तर अब त्यहीँबाट इतिहास दोहोरिने सम्भावना पक्का बनेको छ। मोर्चा र सरकारमा घरहरू हटाएर मोटर स्ट्‌‌‌याण्ड र मल्टिकम्प्लेक्स बनाउने भूत सवार भएको छ भने टोलवासीले आफ्नो पुर्खाको सम्पति रहेको जमीन र घर बचाउँन न्यायालयको शरण लिएका छन्‌। जस्तो उनीहरूका पुर्खाले परिस्थितिको सामना गर्नु परेको थियो ठीक त्यस्तै परिस्थितिको सामना अहिले मॉं सन्तोसी टोलका बासिन्दाहरूले गरिरहेका छन्‌। 1977 मा पनि यसरी नै नोटिश टोलबासीले पाएका थिए। 1953 देखि बस्दै आएको घर हटाउने नोटिश आएपछि टोलवासीले कालेबुङ न्यायलयमा मुद्दा दर्ता गरेका थिए। 
धेरै समयसम्म चलेको मुद्दामा अन्तमा न्यायालयले सुनवाई टोलवासीको पक्षमा सुनाएको थियो। त्यसबेला न्यायलयले स्पष्ट भनेको छ, जमीनको स्वामित्व आवेदक नगरपालिका-पीडव्ल्युडी दुवै विभागसित रहेको प्रमाणित हुन नसकेकोले मालिकाना हकको निम्ति दर्ता गरिएको मुद्दालाई यहीं खारेज गरिन्छ। यसपालि पनि इतिहास दोहोरिए जस्तै टोलवासीले घर हटाउने नोटिश पाएपछि टोलका सरकारी पञ्जिकृत संस्था छिमेकी कल्याण्‌ सङ्घले उच्चन्यायलयमा मुद्दा हालेको सङ्घका अध्यक्ष प्रवीण मोथेले बताएका छन्‌। टोलका वासिन्दाले 60 को दशकदेखि नै जमीनको मालिकाना हकको दाबी गर्दै आइरहेका छन्‌ तर उनीहरूलाई पर्चापट्टा दिने बारे त्यही सरकारले कुनै पहल गरेन जुन सरकारले उनीहरूलाई घर हटाउने नोटिश दिएको छ। नोटिश खिलौना प्रसाद, पवन सुन्दास, कृष्ण शर्मा अनि पासाङ तामाङलाई आएको  छ तर चारजनाको घर हटाएर कुनै पनि मोटर स्ट्याण्ड र मल्टिकम्प्लेक्स बनिन सम्भव छैन। यो बनिनको निम्ति त्यहॉं रहेको 35 वटा घर नै हटाइनुपर्छ। तर टोलवासी कुनै पनि परिस्थितिमा घर हटाउने पक्षमा छैनन्‌।
उनीहरूले दाबी गरेका छन्‌, यो हाम्रो पुर्खाको सम्पति हो। 1953 देखि यहॉं बसोबासो गर्दै आइरहेका छौं। घर हटाउनु होइन हामीलाई जमीनको पर्चापट्टा दिइनुपर्छ। यसकारण हामीले उच्चन्यायालयमा मुद्दा हालेका छौं। हामीलाई देशको न्यायपालिकामाथि विश्वास छ। यत्रो वर्षदेखि हाम्रो बसोबासो रहेको छ। हामीलाई मालिकाना हक दिइनु पर्छ। जसले पनि जहिल्यै पनि कुनै पनि कुरा बनाउन खोजे सबैभन्दा पहिला यही टोलमा गिद्धे नजर लाउने गरेको पनि स्पष्ट छ। किन भने यस अघि पनि यस्तै समस्याको कारण मुद्दा हालिएको थियो जसमा टोलबासीको जीत भएको थियो। न्यायलयले नै सावित गरिसकेको छ कि जमीन नगरपालिका र पीडब्ल्यु दुवैको होइन तर घर उच्छेद गर्ने नोटिश उसैबाट  आएको छ। 
थाहा लागे अनुसार यहॉं मोटर स्ट्याण्ड बनाउनको निम्ति भएको बैठकमा कालेबुङका सबै सामाजिक संस्था अनि राजनैतिक दलले सहमति दिइसकेको मात्र होइन कुनै पनि विवाद आए कसैले पनि हस्तक्षेप नगरिदिने समेतको सहमति भइसकेको छ। तर कुनै पनि बैठकमा उच्छेद गरिने टोलका बासिन्दाहरूलाई न त सामेल गरियो न त कुनै सल्लाह नै मागियो। अचानक कुनै अनुप्रवेशकारीहरूले जग्गा ओगटेर बसेको जस्तै गरेर प्रशासनिकपक्षले नोटिश जारी गरेको छ। 21 दिनभित्रमा घर नहटाए कुनै पुर्व सूचनाविना नै प्रशासनले घर तोडने समेतको धम्की पनि दिइएको छ। क्षेत्रको विधायकलाई टोलबासीले सम्पूर्ण समस्या र टोलमा भएको पौरानिकवास समेतको जानकारी दिइसकेको छ तर उनीहरूलाई मालिकाना हक दिलाउन होइन उच्छेद गर्न नै सबै अघि लागिपरेको टोलवासीको भनाइ छ। मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङले पनि हिजो उनीहरूलाई घर हटाउने सम्बन्धमा पार्टी शाखा अनि महकुमा प्रशासनसित बैठक गरेर समस्या समाधान गर्ने कुरा सुझाएका थिए। जसको जस्तै सुझाव आए पनि टोलवासी पुर्खाको सम्पतिलाई सरकारी मोहर लगाएर मालिकाना हक प्राप्त गरेर नै छोड्‌ने पक्षमा छन्‌।अब जीत जबरजस्तिको हुने हो वा अधिकारको त्यो भविष्य नै बताउने छ।
राज्यसभा सांसद पनि कालेबुङमा - राष्ट्रिय प्राकृतिक आपदा घोषणा गरिनुपर्छ-पाठक
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 25 सितम्बर। आइतबार राती आएको विनाशकारी  भुइँचालोलाई सरकारले राष्टिय प्राकृतिक आपदाको घोषणा गर्नुपर्ने राज्यसभा सासंद सुरज पाठकले माग गरेका छन्‌। भुइँचालो प्रभावित क्षेत्रको निरिक्षण गर्न कालेबुङ आइपुगेका सांसद सुरज पाठकले  भुइँचालोले यसपल्ट थुप्रै क्षेत्रहरूमा भयानक क्षति पुर्‍याएकोले सरकारले राष्ट्रिय प्राकृतिक आपदा घोषणा गर्नुपर्ने बताउँदै भने, दार्जीलिङ पहाडमा प्राकृतिक आपदा आएको अहिले मात्र होइन, यसभन्दा अघि पनि आइलाले धेरै क्षति पुर्‍याएको थियो। आइलालाई पनि प्राकृतिक राष्ट्रिय आपदा घोषणा गर्नुपर्ने मागमा हामीले सरकारमाथि चाप सृष्टि गरेका थियौं।  यसपल्ट आएको भुइँचालोले थुप्रै राज्यहरूलाई छोएको छ। सिक्किमपछि दार्जीलिङ पहाड़लाई यसले व्यापक हानी पुर्‍याएको छ। यसर्थ हामी माग गर्छौं कि सरकारले यसलाई प्राकृतिक राष्ट्रिय आपदा घोषणा गरोस्‌। तिनले यसको निम्ति प्रधानमन्त्रीलाई पनि पत्रचार गर्ने बताए।
भुइँचालो आएको सात दिनपछि तिनी आज कालेबुङ आइपुगे। तिनले आज कालेबुङको भुइँचालोप्रभावित क्षेत्रहरूको भ्रमण गरे। माकपा नेता तारा सुन्दाससँग तिनले लेप्रोसि, डा.ग्राम्स होम्स आदिको निरिक्षण गरे। तिनले आफू लगायत पार्टीको पक्षबाट भुइँचालो पीडित अनि क्षतिग्रस्त क्षेत्रहरूको निम्ति राज्य तथा केन्द सरकारसँग कुराकानी गर्ने बताए। तिनले अहिले दार्जीलिङ पहाडको सुदुरवर्ती क्षेत्रहरूमा निरिक्षण गर्न आफू जान असमर्थ बनेको भएपनि क्षेत्रीय प्रशासनले भने सही निरिक्षण गरेर रिपोर्ट तयार पार्नुपर्ने बताए। तिनले अहिले आपदकालीन अवस्थामा राजनैतिक स्वार्थलाई पछि सारेर सम्पूर्ण राजनैतिक दल, सङ्घ-संस्था आदि अघि आएर कार्य गर्नुपर्ने बताए। तिनले पहाडको क्षतिपूरणको निम्ति तत्कालै जिल्लापाल, पहाड भ्रमण गरिसकेका अन्य सांसदहरू  लगायत केन्द्र अनि राज्य सरकारसँग कुराकानी गर्ने बताए। तिनले भत्किएको पाठशाला निर्माणको निम्ति आफ्नो पक्षबाट भएजति पहल गरिदिने जनाए। 
भुइँचालो पीडितहरूप्रति तिनले संवेदना प्रकट गर्दै भने, अहिले पहाडका मानिसहरूलाई धेरै नै आघात पुगेको छ। उनीहरूको मानसिक अनि शारिरिक रूपले ग्रस्त छन्‌। उनीहरूलाई मानसिक अनि आर्थिक रूपले सहयोग गर्न जरूरी छ। हामी जुनसुकै पार्टीका राजनैतिक कार्यकर्ता  भएपनि जनताअघि आएर उभिनु हाम्रो कर्तव्य हो। मानवताको नातामा एक भएर सङ्गर्ष गर्नुपर्छ। सिक्किम सरकारले भुइँचालोमा ज्यान गुमाउनेहरूलाइ पॉंच लाखको घोषणा गरेको भएपनि बङ्गलसरकारले गरेको दुइ लाखको घोषणामा असन्तोष व्यक्त गर्दै सांसद पाठकले सरकारले राष्टिय प्राकृतिक आपदा घोषणा गरेमात्र पीडित परिवारले न्याय पाउने बताए।  
विधायकले लगाए दोष पञ्चायत कर्मीहरूलाई
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 25 सितम्बर।  कालेबुङका विधायक डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले कुन कुन भुइँचालो पीडित क्षेत्र घुमे त्यसको विवरण मीडियामा राखे। तिनले भने, हामीलाई बङ्गाल सरकारले होइन सरकारी कर्मचारी अथवा अधिकारीहरूले नै शोषण गरेको रहेछ। हाम्रोमा सत्ता आउँदैछ। यस्ता कर्मचारीहरू अथवा अधिकारीहरू हो भने गोर्खाल्याण्ड हुँदैन। विभिन्न ठाउँहरू अहिले भुइँचालो पीडित छन्‌। जसको निरिक्षण गर्न घुमिरहेको छु। म घरमा बसेको छैन। डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्री अनुसार तिनले यसै निरिक्षण अवधी 24 नम्बर समष्टीको कागे र सामालबोङमा पञ्चायत कर्मीहरूलाई भेटेनन्‌। उपस्थिति बहीमा पनि उनीहरूको हस्ताक्षर देखेनन्‌। तत्कालै तिनले खण्ड विकास अधिकारीलाई फोन गरेर त्यसको जानकारी दिए। तिनले फोनमा नै भने, यस्तो आपातकालमा पनि पञ्चायत कर्मीहरू कार्यालयमा आउँदैनन्‌ भने कहिले आउँछन्‌? यस्ता कर्मचारीहरूलाई शीघ्र नै कार्वाही हुनुपर्छ। नत्र कुन स्तरमा कुरा उठाउनुपर्छ म उठाउने छु।
डा. छेत्रीले पत्रकारहरूलाई अझ भने, मैले खण्ड विकास अधिकारीलाई म 24 नम्बर समष्टीको निरीक्षणको निम्ति निस्कँदै छु, तपाईँ पनि राहत बोकेर निस्कनुहोस्‌ भन्दा तिनले मेरा पञ्चायत कर्मचारीहरू अहिले क्षेत्रको सर्वेक्षणमा छन्‌, उनीहरूको रिपोर्ट आएपछि मात्र राहत पुर्‍याइने छ, भनेर उत्तर दिए, तर जब म क्षेत्रमा पुगेँ, तिनका कोही पनि कर्मचारीहरू राहत शिविरमा पुगेका थिएनन्‌। कार्यालयमा धेरै महिनादेखि अनुपस्थित कर्मचारीहरू, अधिकारीहरू पीडित क्षेत्रमा नै पुगेका थिएनन्‌। मैले दुवै पञ्चायत कार्यालयको रेजिस्टरमा यस्ता कर्मचारीहरूलाई कार्वाही गरिनुपर्छ भनेर लेखिदिएको छु। भुइँचालोले सबैभन्दा धेर प्रभाव पारेको क्षेत्र भनेको 24 नम्बर समष्टी रहेको छ। यस्तो क्षेत्रमा पञ्चायत कर्मी र अधिकारीहरू नदेख्दा विधायकको टुप्पीबाट धुँवा छुटेको कुरा तिनी आज पत्रकारहरूलाई गर्दै थिए। तिनले भने, मैले क्षेत्रका पीडितहरुसित पञ्चायत कर्मी र अधिकारीहरूबारे सोधखोज गर्दा उनीहरू उल्टै मसित रिसाए। एक जना अधिकारीलाई पीडितहरूले आफ्नो क्षतिबारे अवगत गराउँदा फोटो खिचेर ल्याउने निर्देश दिएका रहेछन्‌। 
पीडितहरूले यस्तो क्षेत्रमा कहॉंबाट क्यामेरा पाउँछन्‌ र फोटो खिच्छन्‌। राहतको कुरा गर्दा उनीहरूलाई केही दिने अनुमति नरहेको समेत ती अधिकारीले बताएका रहेछन्‌। डा. छेत्रीले काम नगर्ने पञ्चायत अधिकारी अनि कर्मचारीहरूलाई कार्वाही त गर्ने भए, आफ्नै क्षेत्रको सांसदलाई गर्छन्‌ के त? किन भने सांसद अझसम्म कुन दुलोमा लुकेका छन्‌ कसैलाई पनि थाहा छैन।
विधायकले सकारे अध्यक्षलाई
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 25 सितम्बर।  कालेबुङका विधायक डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाका अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङलाई सकारे। तिनले भने, अहिले मोर्चाका कोही पनि नेताहरू घरमा बसेका छैनन्‌। सबै दौडाहामा छन्‌।  हाम्रा अध्यक्ष बिमल गुरूङ झन धेरैदिन देखि 24 नम्बर समष्टीको दौडाहामा छन्‌। अध्यक्षको यसप्रकारको दौडाहालाई जनताले प्रशंसा गरेर हेरेका छन्‌। तिनले यसैबीच अघिल्लो पार्टी र अहिलेको पार्टी मात्र होइन अध्यक्षहरूबीच तुलना नै गरे। तिनले भने, गोरामुमो अध्यक्ष सुबास घिसिङ दुइपल्ट मात्र कालेबुङ आए। एकपल्ट चुनाउको भाषण गर्नु अर्को शहीद दिवस मनाउनु। हाम्रा अध्यक्ष बिमल गुरूङ गाउँ गाउँ, बस्ती बस्ती घुम्दैछन्‌। यो कुरालाई आम जनताले बुझिराख्नुपर्छ। नेतृत्वमा पार्थक्य हेर्नुपर्छ। डा छेत्रीले नेतालाई सकारे पनि जनता भने सरकारले दिने राहत सहीरूपले पीडितमा पुगोस्‌ भन्ने पक्षमा छन्‌।
किन भने यस अघि  पहाडमा आएको आइलाको निम्ति पनि गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाका नेताहरू अनि अध्यक्ष यसरी नै घुमेका थिए। आइलामा धेरै राशि आए पनि 24 नम्बर समष्टी कै धेरै क्षेत्रका पीडितहरूले त्यो कोषको फाइदा पाउन सकेका थिएनन्‌। अझ पनि ती पीडितहरूले आइलाको निम्ति आएको करोडौंको राशिबाट कुनै अंश पनि प्राप्त गर्न नसकेको जानकारी पाइएको छ। हिजो विमल गुरूङले आइला जस्तो यसपालि नहोस्‌ भनेर नै सही तथ्यहरू बटुल्न दौडाहा गरेको बताएका थिए। तिनको यसप्रकारको दौडाहाले पीडितहरूले  न्याय पाउने आशा सबैले गरेका छन्‌।
दैनन्दिनी च्यानल को प्रभाव - बटुल्न थाले राहत विभिन्न व्यक्तिहरूले
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 25 सितम्बर। कालेबुङको सुदुरवर्ती क्षेत्र 24 नम्बर समष्टीको नोक डॉंडादेखि सात घण्टाको बाटो हिँड्‌दा पुग्ने मन्दिर अनि शंखे गाउँलाई भुइँचालोले बिथोलेको समाचार दैनन्दिनीले  हिजो प्रसारण गरेको थियो। जति पनि भीआईपीहरू कालेबुङ आए सबैले हिँड्‌नको गाह्रोले शहर छेउका पीडित क्षेत्रको मात्र निरीक्षण गरे। उनीहरूले निरीक्षण मात्र गरेनन्‌ विभिन्न राहतको आश्वासन पनि दिएका थिए। दैनन्दिनीको प्रतिनिधि त्यस क्षेत्रमा पुगेर पीडितहरूको आवाजलाई बाहिर निकाले पछि आज महकुमाका धेरैवटा संघसंथाहरूले त्यस क्षेत्रको निम्ति राहत बटुल्न थालेका छन्‌ भने कलाकार बिक्रम पराजुली, दैनन्दिनी समाचारका पत्रकार मनोज राई अनि समय दैनिकका कालेबुङ व्युरो मनोज वोगटीले मानिसहरूको अनुरोध र क्षेत्रका पीडितहरूको अवस्थालाई ध्यानमा राखेर राहत सामाग्रीहरूको संग्रह शुरू गरेका छन्‌। 
उनीहरूले जो जो पनि ती क्षेत्रका पीडितहरूलाई सहयोग गर्न चहान्छन्‌ उनीहरूलाई के अपील गरेका छन्‌ भने डम्बरचोक नजिक टीआरसी भवनमा राहत संग्रह केन्द्र राखिएको छ, जहॉं इच्छुकहरूले राहत संग्रह गर्न सक्छन्‌। समाचार अघि आएपछि धेरैले नै पीडितहरूलाई सहयोग पुर्‍याउने मनाशय व्यक्त गरिएकोले संग्रह केन्द्र स्थापित गरिएको छ। विक्रम पराजुलीले जनाए अनुसार वरिपरिका क्षेत्रहरूमा सबैले राहत पुर्‍याउँछन्‌ तर सबैबाट बञ्चित रहेको अनि गाडी नपुग्ने मन्दिर गाउँ र शंखे गाउमा भने कोही पनि पुग्दैनन्‌। यसकारण जहॉं असुविधा छ, त्यहॉं राहत पुर्‍याउनको निम्ति संग्रह केन्द्र राखिएको छ। सबैले त्यहॉं राहत सामाग्री ल्याए मङ्गलबारको दिन पीडितहरूसम्म पुर्‍याउने बन्दोबस्त गरिएको छ। यता क्षेत्र पुगेर फर्किएका पत्रकार मनोज राईले पनि अपील गर्दै टाडाका पीडितहरूलाई सहयोग गर्न सबै अघि आइदिने आह्वान गरेका छन्‌। समाचार प्रकाशित भएपछि सबैले राहत पुर्‍याउने इच्छा व्यक्त गरिएकोले यस कार्यमा सबैलाई जुटेर पीडितहरूलाई राहत पुर्‍याइदिने कालिम्पोङअनलाइनन्यूजडट कमको पनि सबैलाई अपील रहेको छ। अर्कोतिर आज धेरै व्यक्ति विशेष अनि सङ्घ संस्थाहरूले प्रसारण हेरेर नै राहत संग्रह गर्न थालेका छन्‌।

पंचायतले सही तारिकाले कार्य गर्नुपर्छ – डा हर्क बहादुर छेत्री
डी के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ २५ सितम्बर :  “हाम्रा पंचायत कर्मीहरुले राम्रा कर्य गरेका छैनन्। गाउँ गाउँमा घुमेर रिपोर्ट बतुल्ने बेलामा अफिसमा ड्यूटीमा समेत उपस्थित छैनन्।  यस्तो आपद्को समयमा ड्यूटीमा नबस्ने कर्मचारीहरुलाई तत्काल कर्वाही गरिनु पर्छ । मैले मह्कुमा अधिकारी र खण्ड विकाश अधिकारी सँग यसबारेमा कुरा कानी  गरेको छु । वास्तमा हाम्रो गोर्खाल्याण्ड राज्य गठन् भयो भने पनि यस्ता कर्मचारीले नै डुबाउने छन्"- उक्त कुरा विधयक डा हर्क बहादुर छेत्रीले भनेका हुन्। तिनले भुँइचालो प्रभावित क्षेत्रहरुको भ्रमणमा जाँदा कतिपय पंचायतकार्यलयहरुमा  कर्मीहरु नभेटेकोमा उक्त आक्रोस व्यक्त गरेका हुन्। एकातिर महकुमा अधिकारी र खण्ड विकाश अधिकारी आफ्ना कर्मचारीहरु कार्यरत रहेका छन् भन्छन् भने अर्कोतिर कर्माचरीहरु भने आफ्ना कार्यमा उपस्थित् हुदैनन्। कतिपय गाउँहरुमा त झन् गाउँलेहरुले अझ सम्म ती कर्मीहरु देखेका समेत छैन भन्ने जन गुनासो सुनियो। 
यस्ता घर बसेर तलब खाने कर्मीहरुकै कारण हाम्रा मान्छेहरुले दुख भोग्न परिरहेको छ भन्दै डा छेत्रीले यो पहिलेको राजनैतिक दलहरुको गल्तिको कारण हो भनि बताए। पहिलेको नेताहरुले जनताले दुख पाए कि पाएनन् भनेर हेरेनन् तर अब हाम्रा मान्छेहरुले दुख पाउँनु हुदैन।। राजनीतिको स्वार्थमा आफ्ना ड्युटी नगएर घरमा बस्ने ती कर्मीहरुलाई यदि बिभागबाट कार्वाही भएन भने जन प्रतिनिधिको नातामा म कार्वाही गर्नसकने पहल निश्चय गर्ने छु भनै थप् तिनले बताए। आज बिभिन्न बिभागमा कार्य पद्दती सही नभएको बताउदै पंचायतका कार्मीहारुले राम्रो कार्य गर्नुपर्ने पानि तिनले जनाए । हाल बिभिन्न बिभागमा कार्यपद्दती राम्रो नहुनुको कारणा जीएनएलएफको २२ वर्सको कार्यकालको कारण हो भन्न पनि छेत्री चुकेनन् । गोर्खाल्याण्ड राज्य हुन भन्दा अघि हामीले सबै कार्य पद्दतीमा सुधार ल्याउन आवश्यक रहेको बताउदै अब हामीले हाम्रो प्रत्येक बिभागकलई एक्टिभ राख्नुपर्छ भने। तिनले अब गोजमुमोले कार्य पद्दतीमा परिवर्तन ल्याउने बताउदै पार्टीको भनेर कसैलाई काखी च्याप्ने नगर् पानि तिनले जनाए । “ म आगामी एम एल ए हुनुपर्छ भनेर आज आफ्नोलाई चेप्ने कार्य गरे भविश्यमा सबै बिग्रेर जान्छ। हामीले राम्रो राज्य बनाउन कसैलाई लाखा र कसैलाई पाखा  गर्दैनौ" भनि डा छेत्रीले थप भने ।  

सांसद पाठक कालेबुगंमा
कालेबुङ २५ सितम्बर : डी के वाइबा : "भुँ इचालोले प्रभावीत पारेका क्षेत्रहरुको परीभ्रमण गर्न आज माकपा नेता एंव राज्यसभा सांसद सुरज पाठक कालेबुङ आईपुगे । यस अवसरमा तीनले भुइचालोले मर्नेहरुलाई सरकारले क्षती पुर्तिको रुपमा ५ लाख दिनुपर्ने मांग गरे । गत १८ सितम्बरमा आएको बिनासकारी भुइचाले ब्यापका क्षती पुराएको बताउँदै यस्लाई केन्द्र सरकारले राष्ट्रीय डिजाष्टर भनेर घोश्णा गर्नुपर्ने बातउँदै उक्त विष्यमा प्रधान मँत्रीलाई पत्रचार गर्ने पनि बताए । अर्को तिर आफुले यस आपदको क्षणमा सासद कोषबाट सकेसम्म सहयोगा गर्ने पनि तीनले बाताए । यस अवसरमा तीनले यहाँको लेप्रोसी परिसर अनि डा ग्राहम होम्स विद्यलयको पनि परीभ्रमण गरे । तीनले ती दुवै ठाँउहरुको परीभ्रमण गरेर यस आपदको क्षणमा आफु पीडितहरुको साथमा रहेको जनाए । अर्कोतिरा सांसदको साथमा यहाँका माकपा नेता तारा सुन्दास पनि साथमा रहेक थिए । तीनले राज्यका मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानार्जीले आपादको समयमा सिक्किम राज्यको भ्ररमण गरेर मानवताको परिचय दिनु राम्रो रहेको बताउँदै दार्जीलिगं पहाडको भ्रमण नगरेकोमा आपत्ती जने। आफ्नै राज्यमा मानिसहरु मरेका छन् तर मुख्य मन्त्रीलाई सम्झने फुर्सद छैन भनि सुनदासले आरोप लगए।
Everest tourist flight crashes - Calcutta couple among 19 killed

TT, Kathmandu, Sept. 25: A small plane carrying tourists on a Mount Everest sightseeing trip crashed near Kathmandu while trying to land in bad weather today, killing all 19 persons on board, including 10 Indian passengers of whom two were Calcuttans.
The cause of the 7.30am crash is not known but witnesses said the surrounding mountains were enveloped by fog, visibility was poor and it was raining during the accident.
TV channels quoted people who claimed to have seen flames coming out of the 20-seater turboprop Beechcraft plane, belonging to private airline Buddha Air, just before it crashed.
The two dead Calcuttans are surgeon Pankaj Mehta, 58, and his wife Chhaya, an ophthalmologist. Mehta was chief of the health section of Unicef in Kathmandu, and the couple had been living here for the past three years.
The other eight Indians were all builders from Tiruchy in Tamil Nadu, who were originally booked on tomorrow’s Buddha Air sightseeing flight but were offered seats this morning after a tourist group pulled out. All the eight had come to Delhi for a conference and decided on a three-day Nepal trip before returning home. ( )
Two Americans, one Japanese and three Nepalis made up the rest of the 16 passengers on board apart from the all-Nepali crew of three.
“We rushed the lone crash survivor (a Nepali passenger) to hospital but he died during treatment,” Reuters quoted Kathmandu police spokesperson Binod Singh as saying.
The plane was returning from the one-hour “mountain flight” to view Everest and other peaks when it crashed in Kotadanda village, 20km from Kathmandu airport.
A witness, Haribol Poudel, said the plane hit the roof of a village house and broke into pieces.
No casualties were reported on the ground. Nepal’s civil aviation authorities have formed a three-member probe team.
The bodies were flown by helicopter to Kathmandu airport and sent to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital for post-mortems.
Relatives of the eight Tiruchy victims will fly to Kathmandu via Delhi tomorrow morning. The Tamil Nadu government has asked the Centre to arrange an aircraft to bring the bodies back and has offered to foot the entire bill.
Civil aviation sources said the Beechcraft had been second in the queue for landing. The pilot of a Yeti Airlines mountain flight, also in the queue, saw the Beechcraft disappear in the clouds during its final approach.
The sources said the pilot possibly got disoriented after he entered the clouds and failed to ascertain his actual altitude. They said the altimeter seemed to have been working, and that the black box had been recovered from the wreckage.
The last plane crash in the country occurred in December last year when a Twin Otter aircraft hit foothills in remote west Nepal, killing all 22 people on board.
Sikkim road link snaps for six hours - Evacuation continues, army drops food ration

TT, Gangtok, Sept. 25: A landslide at 32 Mile on National Highway 31A today cut off Sikkim’s sole road link with the rest of the country for six hours.
The highway, near Singtam in East district, was cleared of debris a little after noon.
“The debris and fallen trees were cleared around 12.30pm. Although we are pressed for resources, which are being utilised to clear the Mangan-Chungthang road in North Sikkim, we managed to pull out a bulldozer and some manpower from there to remove the debris here (at 32 Mile),” said A.K. Das, the joint director of the Border Roads Organisation’s Project Swastik. An occasional boulder and slush are still slipping down the hill slopes at several points along NH31A since the earthquake last Sunday.
In North Sikkim, Chungthang and areas beyond it, continued to receive food rations from the army even as the choppers were pressed for evacuation. Multiple landslides after the earthquake have blocked the highway from Mangan onwards, the district headquarters of North Sikkim.
According to Colonel Ravi Patel, the spokesperson for the 17th Mountain Division, nine army choppers were pressed into service today. They dropped 300kg of food at Chungthang, 400kg at Lachen and 800kg at Lachung. Technicians from the civilian administration were also air dropped to assist in relief operations and revive radio communication.
Four mountaineers brought by the state government were also flown to Chungthang, 100km from Mangan, to help in the search and rescue operations.
Injured persons and those wanting to leave were evacuated from these regions, the army spokesperson said at the media briefing today.
“In addition to this, certain quantity of diesel and kerosene were dropped at Chungthang and Lachung for the civilians and to meet the fuel requirements of the machines used by the BRO for road restoration work there,” said Col Patel.
A total of 3,300kg of food ration were dropped at five villages in Dzongu in North Sikkim. Landslides have made the hamlets inaccessible by road.
Palchen Lachenpa, a resident of Lachen, 28km from Chungthang, who was airlifted to Gangtok today, said: “We want to tell our relatives and our children who are studying outside Sikkim that we are all safe in Lachen though property has been damaged. Around 150 people in Lachen have been staying together at the village monastery. There is no need to worry. The army is providing us with food there.”
The spokesperson for the Sikkim government, K.S. Topgay, said the state was getting back to normal and “the death toll remained 77”.
The joint director of the land revenue department, G.C. Khanal, said a six-member team, consisting among others three geologists from IIT Roorkee, will be flying to Lachen and Lachung soon to study the health of the lakes and structural stability of buildings. They will then submit a report to the state government.
Winter fest to extend tourist season
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Sept. 25: The Darjeeling administration will organise a tourist festival here in December, keeping with the spirit of the times when the government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha have settled for an autonomous set-up to end the three-year-long agitation in the hills.
The district administration, which will fund the 16-day festival, will be helped by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the DGHC, a district official said.
Raju Pradhan, the assistant secretary of the Morcha, has been made the working president of the festival committee.
“The festival will start from December 20 and will go on till January 5, 2012. We are yet to decide on the name of the fest,” said Pradhan, who was selected the working president at the first meeting of the committee held in Darjeeling yesterday.
“Besides cultural shows, we will also hold indoor and outdoor games, adventure sports, cross-country runs, mountain biking, body building competition, felicitation of celebrities, and various exhibitions,” said Pradhan. “The festival will be held in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik simultaneously.”
The administration had last organised such a fest — Darjeeling Tea Tourism — in 2000.
Later, for three consecutive years starting 2004, the citizens of Darjeeling had organised a highly successful festival across the hills, which they called the Darjeeling Carnival.
Jazz artiste Louis Banks, among others, had participated in the carnival. But it was stopped from 2007 on when the statehood agitation was renewed and tourism took a beating because of bandhs and highway blockades.
This time, the October season was promising but the September 18 earthquake, which devastated Sikkim, has had a ripple effect on Darjeeling. This is largely because tourists usually come on a Darjeeling-Sikkim package trip.
Pradip Tamang, the secretary of the Darjeeling Association of Travel Agents, said: “The October season looked very good this year but following the earthquake in Sikkim, I think we will lose about 20 per cent of the bookings. Many tour operators are trying to sell the Darjeeling-Dooars or Darjeeling-Kalimpong circuit but North Sikkim, which has been cut off this time, had always been a huge attraction,” said Tamang.
Around 3.5 lakh domestic tourists visit the Darjeeling hills annually. Half of this number usually come during the peak October-November season. Before the Sikkim earthquake, the hotels in Darjeeling were completely full for about the first 20 days of the season.
The administration is now banking on the festival to extend the season.
“Winter tourism is not much of a hit in Darjeeling. We now hope that the tourism festival will help extend the season right up to January,” said a district official.
The Darjeeling Carnival, too, used to be held in December with the aim of extending the season.
While many travel agents have welcomed the initiative, Tamang felt the administration should also look at improving the infrastructure.
“Only the tourism festival will not help if the infrastructure is bad. The administration must prioritise issues like upgrading roads across the hills,” said Tamang.

District administration and GJM to paint Hills to don carnival colours
Deep Gazmer, TNN, Sep 26, 2011, DARJEELING: After Sunday's devastating earthquake and three years of political turmoil that threatened to destabilize the region, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) party is all set to make a new beginning. They have collaborated with the district administration to organise a winter carnival called the Tea and Tourism Festival in December.
The festival will be held from December 20, 2011 to January 5, 2012. "The carnival was proposed by the district administration and we complied. The idea is to extend the tourist season which usually ends in November. However, of late tourists have started coming in December and January and we want to exploit this opportunity," said Raju Pradhan, a senior GJM central committee leader.
Peace has prevailed here post the signing of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and thus the party wants to promote the Hills as a tourist hub.
A 20-member committee comprising representatives from the district administration has been constituted to oversee the organization of the carnival. DM Darjeeling is the president of the committee, Pradhan the working president and Uday Mani Pradhan, a social worker, the general secretary.
The winter carnival will be organized simultaneously in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik. Tourists would witness on display the tradition and culture of the region on display. There would be food stalls serving sumptuous local delicacies.
"Tourists will be able to see tea processing in factories. We will also try to arrange for a screening of popular old Hindi and Nepali films which had Darjeeling as their themes," said Pradhan. The new generation adrenalin pumping, para-gliding and zorbing balls will also feature at the festival.
Incidentally, the Hills used to organise the Darjeeling Carnival in November. This was started in 2003 and continued till there was a fresh agitation for a separate state in 2007. The Darjeeling Carnival used to be organized in joint collaboration with youths of the Hills, the Darjeeling police, Darjeeling Municipality and the DGHC tourism department.
"We want to make this festival an annual calendar event. The carnival would be a positive depiction of the Hills," said Soumitra Mohan, the Darjeeling DM. He had come up with the idea of the Tea and Tourism Festival after the success of the Duars Festival that he had initiated when he was the sub-divisional officer of Alipurduar district.
In its strict sense it will be called the Tea and Tourism Festival but because it is scheduled in December which is apparently a lean season in the Hills, thus the name winter carnival.
The festival will kick start on December 20; just a head of Christmas, which by the way is celebrated with equal pompous as Kolkata and the New Year and will continue till January 5. "The idea here is basically to extend the October tourist season that ends in November and the winter makes its entry in the Hills and things turn quiet. However, off late tourists have started coming in December and January too which is a new trend and we want to exploit that," explained Raju Pradhan, a senior GJM central committee leader. Adding, "With the signing of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) there is peace and want to now promote the Darjeeling Hills".
To ensure its proper organization and success, a twenty member committee has been formed comprising representatives from the district administration, GJM party and few social organizations. The Darjeeling district magistrate is the president of the committee, while, Pradhan is the working president and Uday Mani Pradhan, a social worker, the general secretary who will be supported by twenty executive members.
"The concept of organizing a festival in December was mooted by the district administration and since we liked the idea we gave our consent to be a part of the event," said Pradhan. Yesterday, the administration held a formal meeting with GJM leaders in Darjeeling.
Incidentally, the Hills used to organize the Darjeeling Carnival which was started in 2003 and used to be held every November till the start of a fresh agitation for a separate state in 2007. The Darjeeling Carnival used to be organized in joint collaboration with youths of the Hills and the Darjeeling police, Darjeeling Municipality and the DGHC tourism department.
The winter carnival will be organized simultaneously in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik in the foothills. Tourist will get to see on display the tradition and culture of the region along with sumptuous local delicacies. "We will have on display the regions different traditions and cultures, food, arts and crafts and local products. Tourists will also be able to see tea processing in factories. We will also try and bring back memories of the Hills by screening popular old Hindi and Nepali films with Darjeeling themes," said Pradhan. The new generation adrenalin pumping para-gliding and zorbing balls will also be a feature of the festival that tourists as well as locals will be able to experience.
"We want to make this festival an annual calendar event. The idea is to promote and market the Darjeeling Hills positively world wide, to attract tourists," said Soumitra Mohan, the Darjeeling DM. In fact, the DM came up with the idea of the Tea and Tourism Festival after the success of the Duars Festival that he had initiated when he was the sub-divisional officer of Alipurduar district.
Man-made disasters - Earthquakes, Landslides, Floods Are No Longer Natural Calamities
SNS: While brick by brick we raise our buildings, stone by stone we lose our land, already unstable... The real cost of human interference with the course of Nature becomes enormous, certainly not to be ignored any longer.
Reports of earthquakes, landslides and floods are flowing in from the mountains to the plains. Such catastrophic and devastating events, which take a massive toll in terms of human lives and property, are no longer natural calamities. They are man-made disasters. Human interference in the fragile ecology of the Himalayan mountains has made them more vulnerable to the elements. Soft rock strata with a loose structure, tectonic geo-dynamism and hostile climate conditions, have rendered the Himalayas highly susceptible to erosion.
Earthquakes and landslides play havoc with the lives of people. They often change the entire topography of a region, forcing rivers to change course. Uttarkashi was once situated on the left bank of the Bhagirathi; today it lies on the right bank. Sometimes, landslides dam the rivers, creating new lakes and flooding the surrounding areas. And if and when this dam bursts under the colossal weight of water, it causes further floods triggering more landslides and more destruction.
This vicious circle is often compounded by the panic discharge from man-made dams. Till recently, natural and geological activity had caused landslides. Over the past few decades, ill-conceived, mismanaged, unrestrained and unplanned construction have resulted in large-scale cutting of the mountain surface, and consequent landslides. It means that while brick by brick we raise our buildings, stone by stone we lose our land, already unstable. Road construction is the worst offender. The detonation for the laying of a network of approximately 8300 kilometres of road in the Tehri catchment area, with scant regard to environment and ecology, has made the hillsides unstable and fragile. It has also produced a colossal quantity of debris, which slides down the hillside, destroying vegetation in its path. The sediment, that collects in the streams, is a powerful agent of erosion.
It has been estimated that 550 cubic metres of debris per kilometre of road is produced annually by landslides and road-falls causing about 24x10 to the power 6 cubic metres of sediment to slide down the slopes. And this is carried by the rivers to the plains and ultimately to the oceans.
The Ganga carries 300 metric tons of sediment, the Indus 385 MT and the Brahmaputra, 597 MT per year. The accelerated sediment in the rivers works as sandpaper on the valley walls which slide down due to gravitational force. This leads to slope instability, further reduction in vegetation cover and as often as not the blocking of rivers.
The rivers, that shed this load of sediment as they enter the plains because of the change in velocity, raise the level of the riverbed. This results in flash floods which spread the coarse sediment over the plains. According to a study, the Ganga spreads a layer of 6.1 millimetre per year over its flood plains, the Jamuna 42.2 mm, the Gandak 2.1 mm and the Kosi 8.6 mm. In the delta region of the Ganga and the Brahmaputra, 30 mm of sediment is deposited jointly by the two rivers annually. This turns the fertile lands into barren and sandy wastes as it contains more than 60 per cent quartz, a mineral very slow in the process of soil formation.
Wanton deforestation has also intensified the natural dynamics of river erosion with tones of topsoil from the mountains washed away every year. In the past 41 million years of geological history, the natural rate of soil loss in the Himalayas was only 2.1 centimetres per century. It has increased several times recently. According to various estimates, the loss today per century varies from 10.4 cm in the Jamuna to 44 cm in the Ganga. The siltation rate of the Bhagirathi and Bhilangana, both snow-fed rivers, is around 110 acre feet over 100 square miles in one year. This hastens the erosion of soil and land degradation.
A report by TERI in 1997 estimated the cumulative effect of deforestation, erosion, waterlogging and soil salinity and nutrient loss in the country at approximately Rs 23000 crore. Add to this the trauma of the several hundred people who live in the foothills of the Himalayas in constant fear of their lives, limb and property being lost in landslides and floods. The real cost of human interference with the course of Nature becomes enormous, certainly not to be ignored any longer.
(The writer is retired Associate Professor, Kalindi College, University of Delhi )


18/09/201112:40:4727.7°N88.2°E106.8SIKKIM-- NEPAL BORDER REGION
18/09/201113:11:5927.6°N88.5°E165.0INDIA(SIKKIM)--NEPAL BORDER REGION
18/09/201113:54:1727.5°N88.4°E94.5INDIA(SIKKIM)--NEPAL BORDER REGION
18/09/201121:51:5227.6°N88.4°E284.2INDIA(SIKKIM)--NEPAL BORDER REGION
19/09/201100:52:0318.0°N76.7°E053.9LATUR, MAHARASHTRA
21/09/201102:24:3630.9°N78.3°E103.1UTTARKASHI DIST.,UTTARANCHAL
24/09/201114:32:1830.9°N78.3°E103.0UTTARKASHI DIST, UTTARANCHAL
24/09/201115:21:3534.1°N75.2°E904.3JAMMU & KASHMIR,INDIA

A. Before an earthquake:
• Follow and advocate local safe building codes for earthquake resistant construction.
• Follow and advocate upgrading poorly built structures.
• Make plan and preparation for emergency relief.
• Identify the medical centres, fire fighting stations, police posts and organise relief society of your area.
• Know the electric and water shut off locations in your house.
• Heavy objects, glasses, cutlery should be kept in lower shelves.
• Flower pots should not be kept on the parapet.
B. During an earthquake:
• Keep calm and reassure others.
• During the event, the safest place is an open space, away from buildings.
• If you are indoors, take cover under a desk, table, bed or doorways and against inside walls and staircase. Stay away from
glass doors, glass panes, windows or outside doors. Do not rush to go out of the building, to avoid stampede.
• If you are outside, move away from buildings and utility wires.
• Once in the open, stay there till the vibrations stops.
• If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly as possible and stay in the vehicle.
• Free all pets and domestic animals so that they can run outside.
• Do not use candles, matches or other open flames. Put out all fires.
C. After an earthquake:
• Keep stock of drinking water, foodstuff and first-aid equipment in accessible place.
• Do not spread and believe rumours.
• Turn on your transistor or television to get the latest information/bulletins and aftershock warnings.
• Provide help to others and develop confidence.
• Attend the injured persons and give them aid, whatever is possible and also inform hospital.
• Be prepared for aftershocks as these may strike.
• Close the valve of kitchen gas stove, if it is on. If it is closed, do not open. Do not use open flames.
• Do not operate electric switches or appliances, if gas leaks are suspected.
• Check water pipes, electric lines and fittings. If damaged, shut off the main valves. Do not touch live wires of electricity.
• If needed, open doors and cup boards carefully as objects may fall.

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