GUWAHATI, April 27 - With a view to preventing incidents of landslides and other calamities during the pre-monsoon and monsoon season, the Kamrup Metro district administration has banned earth cutting and earth filling activities in the hilly terrain, water bodies and low lying areas of the city.
The ban, issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, will remain in force till the monsoon season in over. The order to this effect was issued by Dr M Angamuthu, Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup Metro today.
Speaking to The Assam Tribune, Dr Angamuthu said that the order has been issued with a view to ensuring that unscientific and haphazard earth cutting and earth filling does not lead to any untoward situation.
�The aim is to ensure proper regulation. Of course, we will provide some leeway. Exemptions will be made based on need, for example if some public projects like road building are involved,� he said.
The district administration had taken similar steps to regulate earth cutting during last year�s monsoon season also.
Asked if last year�s effort did not yield the desired results and so restriction had to be imposed again this year, Dr Angamuthu said, �There has to be some regulation during the rainy season. From November to May, there are major construction activities and so some relaxation is allowed. But steps have to be taken to ensure that unscientific and haphazard earth cutting and earth filling in the hillocks as well as in the low lying areas of the district for unplanned construction works does not lead to any accidents during monsoon.�
He added that unscientific earth cutting also degrades the environment and the overall ecological balance.
In the order, the DC said that such activities destabilise the natural earth slopes, block natural drains, clog natural and artificial drains, which trigger severe landslides, artificial flood and persistent water-logging during the rainy days and threaten human lives and also livestock as well as properties.
�� haphazard human activity like wanton earth cutting lead to down slope movement of rocks, debris and earth under the influence of gravity and also trigger processes like heavy rainstorms, cyclones, floods, earthquakes etc. This sudden movement of materials causes extensive damage to the downward settlement,� said the order.
The city has already witnessed two incidents of landslides so far this month, one each at Akashi Nagar and Luitnagar. The administration had sealed five houses in the landslide-prone Akashi Nagar locality. It has also started a survey to identify all the landslide-prone and erosion-prone areas in the city.
The DC has now directed all the departments concerned including the enforcement agencies like revenue circle officers, police, forest department, PWD, transport department and planning and regulatory bodies like Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and panchayat functionaries not to permit any earth cutting and earth filling activity in the hilly terrain, water bodies and low lying areas of the district.
The departments have also been directed not to allow carrying of earth procured after hill cutting. Procurers have been directed to ensure that the earth they are buying is not from hill cutting.
�All the concerned departments and regulatory bodies will take steps to review the permission accorded, if any, during the current year and take steps to cancel the permission forthwith in the most vulnerable areas prone to landslides and flash floods, considering the present risk and vulnerability in the hilly terrain, water bodies and low lying areas of the district,� said the DC.