Gangtok: A day after a massive landslide in Sokpay village in Dikchu Zang block of Gangtok district, Gangtok District Magistrate Tushar Nikhare on Monday termed the entire area as a “massive sinking area” and directed power companies to “comply with government directions”.
The DC said the government was now considering mass evacuation of people from the sinking area.
The landslide in the Dikchu hills, is being blamed on the NHPC dam construction at the base of the hill as well as the high tension wire towers being laid at the top of the hills.
The DC, however, said that collective action will be taken after a report from the Mines and Geology department.
“At present, we cannot conclude on any reason for the landslide. There are some actions to be taken from the side of power project companies also. Suitable directions will be given to them and they will have to comply with. We are trying to find the root cause of the landslide at the earliest. There is fresh cutting on the hill from the slide. The landslide was not active; it could have been triggered by the rains last week,” Nikhare said.
On complaints of relocation every monsoon by the local residents, Nikhare said, “The mass evacuation of people from the village is under active consideration, rest assured the Chief Minister has given us the direction that whosoever requires relocation or any help, the government is willing to provide. We will have to agree on the entire area being a massive sinking area. That way, landslide will be triggered at many locations. It is not that every year there is a relocation done for the residents of Sokpay village. For now, it has triggered at one place but mines and geology department will carry a thorough survey of the entire area. Wherever the department feels that an area is not suitable for staying for long, we will prepare a report and submit to the government who will take necessary actions and comply with mines and geology department’s findings.”
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While the government has already provided spot compensation to four families, the DM said another 16-17 families are being considered for the same.
“The compensation is for immediate help, which they will get. The compensation norms are standard, they are pre-decided on the rates but the government will be giving over and above the rates. The tenants are being given for goods, clothings and utensils, but for house damage, the money will be given to the landowner. We have consulted with the concerned gram panchayat that the person living as tenant has also suffered damage, and hence, the amount may be shared proportionately. But as per norms we cannot give compensation for house damage to the tenants.”
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