Kathmandu, August 6
A fresh inventory on Chure has identified that altogether 3,456 landslides have occurred in ten districts of the mid and eastern regions of the country.
The inventory was prepared by the Central Department of Environmental Science for the government’s President Chure Tarai Madhes Conservation Development Board.
The department has included Makawanpur, Bara, Rautahat, Sindhuli, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha, Udayapur and Saptari districts on its inventory. According to the findings, Makawanpur, Siraha, and Udayapur are the districts in that order with the most number of landslides.
A total of 792 landslides in Makawanpur, 717 in Siraha, and 684 in Udayapur have been recorded so far.
Similarly, 469 landslides in Sindhuli, 216 in Saptari, 163 in Rautahat, 110 in Bara, 104 in Dhanusha, 103 in Sarlahi and 98 landslides in Mahottari have been recorded.
According to Assistant Professor of Department of Geology at Tri-Chandra Multiple College, Subodh Dhakal, most landslides were recorded in the middle of Shivalik region, where the land slopes at 30 to 40 degrees.
“We have recorded at least 40 per cent of landslides in mid-Shivalik, 35 per cent in upper Shivalik, and 25 per cent in lower Shivalik regions respectively,” he told The Himalayan Times, adding, “Numerous landslides have been recorded in forest covered areas.”
He said landslides occurred in the Shivalik range not because of deforestation, but due to the rocky geology of the area.
Dr Dhakal said clay rock, sand rock, and gravel conglomerate rock are the three types of rocks found in the region that contribute to their fragile geology.
“Our study shows that conducting plantation programmes would not be effective in combating the issue of landslides,” he said, adding, “Landslide management and drainage management are both needed to stop the landslides and soil erosion in Shivalik.”
The project was funded by the President Chure Tarai Madhes Conservation Development Board.
TU and PCTMCDC jointly signed an agreement for the project in August of 2015. Member Secretary at PCTMCDC Annapurnananda Das said the study was conducted to implement its recommendations.
The goal of the project was to provide technical and financial plans for the mitigation of existing risk of landslides in 10 districts of the Chure region and to delineate areas susceptible to landslides to minimise the risk and conserve Chure area.
Besides landslides identification, the project also prepared a detailed study of 1,003 landslides and recommended mitigation measures.
The Chure range has the youngest hills in the country, formed by the deposition of river residues around four crore years ago.
The Chure range, which extends from the Indus river of Pakistan in the West to Bharamaputra of India in the east, is also known as the Shivalik range.
A version of this article appears in print on August 07, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.