Landslide victims rue lack of Govt support, blame authorities for causing slide

Suraj Limboo

Gangtok, 07 Sept:

The family of Hari Das Pokhrel, victims of a landslide in Menglee, South Sikkim, has demanded proper assistance from the government to relocate the family.

Hari Das Pokhrel's family has been living in a temple since their house was damaged by a landslide on 03 September morning at around 4.30 am. According to Kunti Maya Sharma [daughter-in-law], seven of them were present in the house on that day.

There was heavy rain in Menglee on the night of 02 Sept and water run-off from the PMGSY road above was entering their house. They also tried to block the water flow but failed.

When the landslide occurred at around 3am on 03 Sept, the 85-year-old father and 75-year-old mother along with five other members managed to escape. The house and kitchen have been completely damaged and a newly constructed house is also damaged.

Ms Sharma blamed the absence of proper drainage on the PMGSY road above the house for the landslide.

According to the family, the concerned department was informed about a year back about the danger that improper drainage system on the road posed. But the department did not look into the matter, said Kunti Sharma. The family has become homeless today due to the lack of initiative of the concerned authorities, she alleged.

DC South, M. Bharani Kumar, along with several concerned officials visited the site on the same day and also handed ex-gratia of Rs 2.1 lakh.

But the losses were worth more than Rs 15 lakh, Kunti Sharma informs.

The family has demanded that the concerned department inspect the affected site and make arrangements to provide security to the existing house, and immediately sanction the construction of a protection wall above the house.