GUWAHATI, June 4 � Foul weather condition, coupled with human apathy, triggered a landslip in close proximity to the State�s most exclusive address. Following heavy rains, a part of the road to the Raj Bhavan caved in this morning, and stopped short of causing major damage to settlements nearby.
�It was a miracle, that loose earth did not go down any further. There were dwellings which could have been destroyed if a larger part of the slope had come apart,� said Chitraban Sarma, a local resident. Two vehicles were covered by debris from the slope side.
He and other local residents confirmed that the landslip started around 6.15 in the morning, when a part of the slope beneath the road started to tear apart. Within 15 to 20 minutes the rest of the slope collapsed leaving a gash about 25 metres in length. As the landslip occurred, two electricity poles were destroyed and power supply to a nearby area snapped.
There was concern in the area after the mishap, but people did not panic, another local resident told The Assam Tribune. Some of them, however, felt that the landslip would not have occurred if the Government authorities were alert and willing to respond to the situation that was developing over some time. They revealed that a leaking water main was responsible for weakening the subsurface, but the PWD had not taken any action.
When contacted a PWD official, who wished anonymity, said that a report about the leaking pipeline was prepared some time back. �We identified the problem and informed the Guwahati Municipal Corporation. It is their job to take necessary action,� he remarked.
GMC officials revealed that the pipe would be difficult to remove, and might have to be replaced by a new one.
A few locals mentioned that the poor construction work of a retaining wall was another factor behind today�s landslip. They also pointed out that a part of the retaining wall was also showing cracks and could be affected in the near future.
PWD officials visiting the site were of the view that permanent repair would need some time, but temporary restoration work would start from today.