Geologists have identified 12 landslide-prone villages in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand that need to be relocated before the onset of monsoon.
"Twelve of the 20 villages surveyed in the district so far are highly prone to landslides. They have been witnessing landslides for the past several years. It would be better if their inhabitants are shifted elsewhere before the onset of monsoon," said Pradeep Kumar, a geologist at the Geology and Mining Department.
A team of geologists, led by Kumar, had started their survey on 24 December 2017, the report of which has now been released.
The villages that need to be immediately relocated are Senar, Kultham and Bhadeli in Munsiyari, Tankul, Chalma Chilaso, Himkhola, Kanar, Dharpangu, Suwa, Bungbung, Garguwa, Syari, Jamku and Bharbheli in Dharchula and Garzila of Berinag.
Disclosing that the survey was being extended to 12 more villages in the region, the geologist said while the land has been identified for Senar, Kultham and Bhadeli villages in Munsiyari subdivision, the process to identify sites for other villages is on.
Citing the example of Garzila village, which is currently inhabited by only 12 families and needs immediate relocation, Kumar said the upper terrain of the village has been made of small boulders of quartzite nature. It is situated near a massive landslide zone due to which it will be under a constant threat of landslides in monsoon, which might result in damages to the families living there.
Until a strong safety wall is constructed above the village, it would be threatened by massive landslides. We have also recommended that the village be saved from a constant erosion by the Ramganga river underneath, said the geologist.
According to local residents, several families have left the village in the past 20 years and settled at safer places, leaving only 12 families behind. The villagers spend their nights in the open during monsoon due to the threat of landslides, said Ram Singh, a resident of Garzila village.
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