GUWAHATI: The Kamrup (M) district administration has issued a notice to residents of several landslide-prone areas of Guwahati, asking them to shift to safer locations.
The notice issued by the Circle Officer of Kamrup (M) has been issued under section 34 and sub-clause 30 of the State Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Sources said that the notice will cover more than a thousand families, mainly residing in various hillocks in and around the city.
However, the notice does not specify what action, if any, will be taken if the families concerned disobey the directive for shifting from their present dwellings.
An official source of the district administration said that they have alerted the vulnerable families via the notice, but it will be up to Dispur to decide as to what action will be taken against those who ignore the notice.
When asked why the district does not take action in the initial stage when people haphazardly set up settlements or dwellings in hillocks etc., the official source said that there are 19 hillocks around the city and thousands of families live on these hillocks. Most of the settlers are encroachers, the source said, adding that it is difficult to monitor such activities on a daily basis.
In a bid to counter this problem, locality-wise citizens' committees have been asked to alert the district administration if any person tries to construct a dwelling in hillocks within their area of jurisdiction. However, the citizens' committees seldom report such activities to the district administration, the source said. They only inform the administration if they perceive a threat from an encroacher to their own property.
The source also informed that the administration always takes preventive action whenever any report of illegal earth-cutting or encroachment of hillocks etc., is received. In many cases, the administration has snapped the electricity connections of people who refuse to vacate landslide-prone areas, but they still refuse to shift from the vulnerable areas. The Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) is being also requested to survey the terrain properly before providing electricity connections.
The district administration has identified several landslide-prone areas in and around the city. These include five spots in Fatasil, six in Gotanagar, 30 in Hengerabari, 25 in Kahilipara, 30 in Khanapara, 37 in Kharguli and 77 in Sunsali.
Sources said that last year, the district administration went door-to-door of around 1 lakh families living in landslide-prone area and carried out an awareness drive. However, the families concerned remained adamant.
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