GUWAHATI, Jan 10 � In a pioneering effort, experts from 37 organisations today started a brainstorming session on landslide � related issues affecting Guwahati. The two-day workshop on �Landslide hazard zonation and mitigation plan for Guwahati city and adjoining areas� has been attended by top academics, engineers, first responders, and policy framers.
Speaking in the inaugural session, Prithvi Majhi, Minister, Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Assam mentioned that a significant death toll has been recorded during landslides in the last few years, and therefore it was important to understand the threat and take appropriate steps.
Stating that in many cases the causes of landslides were human induced, he reasoned that the importance of natural geological processes has to be recognized and nature has to be respected.
In his key�note address, UK Behera, the Deputy Director General of Geological Survey of India, Shillong mentioned that the reasons for landslides included the inherent fragile lithology, gelogocally active tectonic set up, sensitive seismicity, and high rainfall. Increased urbanization and development activities have added to the complexity of the problem, he noted.
Dr Parag Phukan of the Gauhati University�s Geological Sciences Department, in his presentation, identified the first signs of landslides, causative factors, and emphasized the need to have better data in the public domain.
He, significantly, pointed out that the GMDA Masterplan-2025 is not integrated with the Landslide Hazard Zonation, and there is no reliable central archive of the spatial information in the digital domain.