Friday, December 31, 2010

A positive ending to 2010

If we must work against the huge landslide problem in the Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya, it must be on a multidimensional level where we improve our land use planning, utilize engineering and bio- engineering methods to mitigate landslides, mobilize and train our communities, create awareness at different levels, manage our drainage systems better, establish an effective early warning system  and perhaps induct new technology where it is available and affordable.
Towards this end, some time in mid 2010, I came across what I believe is an effective and affordable means of checking soil erosion : Vetiver Grass.
Much is available on the soil binding properties and many uses of this plant on the internet, but SaveTheHills has decided to procure a small quantity (around 5-8000 saplings) of the grass and plant this grass in some very landslide prone areas of Kalimpong (CHIBO/PASHYOR and maybe SINDEBUNG) during the monsoons of 2011.
I am glad to state that we have identified the source and finalized the procurement formalities and we will undertaking the planting with the help of the many horticulture experts amongst us during the monsoons of 2011.

Praful Rao

Monday, December 13, 2010

A milestone : At the National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi

NIDM in New Delhi is the country's premier institution for imparting training on Disaster Management, as such it was a privilege to be talking there on the "Landslide scenario in Kalimpong and our work with the community" during a 5 day comprehensive training program from 06-11Dec2010 on Landslide Risk Management.
The course was attended by 21 Government officials from 7 states and included geologists, engineers, state civil servants, BRTF personnel and scientist.
The course report in pdf format is here

Praful Rao

Saturday, December 4, 2010

STH activities at Kolkata (30Nov2010) and New Delhi (10Dec2010)

NIDM has organized a 5 day "Comprehensive Landslide Risk Mitigation and Management" training program at New Delhi from 06Dec-10Dec2010. STH will be participating both as trainee and a resource person.

Praful Rao