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Landslides claim two lives in city

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 14 - Two separate incidents of landslide claimed two lives in Guwahati, including that of a minor, in South Sarania and Noonmati areas in the morning hours today. The disasters were followed by a deluge on the city streets due to incessant rainfall, throwing city life completely out of gear.

Manik Chandra Rabha (71) of Hemgiri Path, South Sarania, died as loose soil sliding down the slope of a hill fell on him around 6.45 am. Teams of SDRF later recovered his body with the help of excavators. Another landslide claimed the life of 11-year-old Noorjahan Begum in Noonmati Nizarapar area.

The district administration has announced a one-time financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of each of the victims as per the Disaster Management Act.

DC Kamrup (Metro) Dr M Angamuthu who visited both the sites to take stock of the situation, said strict measures would be taken to control damage in locations vulnerable to landslide.

�We will enhance the capacity building exercise amongst public and other stakeholders. The Chief Minister has directed us to examine the entire issue and take suitable ameliorative measures to reduce further incidents,� Angamuthu told The Assam Tribune.

The DC said that the power department has been instructed to repair overhanging electric wires affected in the incidents. Work towards that end has already started.

The district administration has also directed the PWD (Road) to construct a guard wall in the affected area at South Sarania to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

Further, the soil conservation department, GMC and GMDA have been asked to re-examine the houses and buildings on or around the hills in vulnerable areas. Buildings found to be unsafe will have to be evacuated and their residents temporarily shifted to safer localities until remedial measures are taken.

Earlier, a study by the Assam Engineering College had identified 366 landslide-prone sites in the city. Citizens in vulnerable localities have also been asked to move to safer locations.

On the other hand, a heavy downpour during the daytime inundated all the arterial city roads creating a chaotic situation for several hours. The RG Baruah Road, GS Road, MRD Road and many other streets were submerged in water, bringing traffic to a standstill, forcing commuters to take detours. Panjabari and Kahilipara areas also witnessed water-logging, apart from Anil Nagar, Nabin Nagar and Tarun Nagar areas.

�The urban flood problem in Guwahati is deteriorating with every passing day, with all the measures taken by the authorities failing to control the situation. New areas are getting affected by water-logging, bringing untold sufferings to the people,� said a commuter.

Another landslide was reported from Bamunimaidam area. There was however no casualty.

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