Govt yet to form landslide management centre

Kathmandu, June 22

The government is unlikely to meet its target to set up National Landslide Management Centre within this fiscal.

In October last year, the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management had begun the process of setting up a systematic National Landslide Management Centre to maintain information on landslides in the country.

Director General at the department Bijaya Raj Poudyal said the department was drafting the document regarding establishment of the centre to send it to the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation.

“We hope the centre will be established at the earliest as the National Planning Commission had also mentioned it in its 14th plan,” Poudyal told The Himalayan Times. The country does not have any appropriate or authentic data on landslides that occur frequently during monsoon and sometimes even during winters. This year’s monsoon arrived in Nepal on June 12.

Following the devastating earthquakes two years ago, geologists have warned of landslides and sought immediate landslide hazard mapping throughout the country.

DG Paudyal said the centre would carry out various landslide-related researches, maintain a landslide inventory, conduct landslide hazard mapping and develop prevention programmes.

According to National Society for Earthquake Technology Nepal, a total of 3,220 landslides have been recorded in the country between 1971 and 2013. Data have shown that 76 landslides occur in Nepal every year.

An average of 111 landslide-related deaths a year has been recorded, and a total of 4,691 people have been killed due to landslides between 1971 and 2013.Landslides affect 14,303 people in Nepal every year, and altogether 600,736 people have been affected between 1971 and 2013.

The department said that although there are at least 30 organisations working for landslide management in Nepal, the department receives three to five complaints from landslides victims daily. Though incidents of landslides and floods are often reported from across the country during monsoon every year, the government has yet to identify landslide and flood-prone areas.