An Eyewitness Account
The Indian calendar of Landslide disasters is literally dotted with catastrophic events, most of which, by hindsight, look self imposed and probably avoidable. If landslides could plead their cases in the courts of law, a great majority of them will come out unscathed, after convincingly proving that the boot is on the other leg. It is we who have flouted the basic rules of slope safety by one hand, while turning over the pages of the landslide calendar, by the other hand, without remorse.
India and China had signed a bilateral agreement on September 18 this year providing for conducting the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through Nathu La in Sikkim Himalayas in addition to the existing Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand. Addressing the media after the signing of the MoU in this regard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the new route offers many benefits. “It makes Kailash Mansarovar accessible by a motorable road, which is especially beneficial for older pilgrims.
June 2013 has been a month of catastrophe, trials and suffering in the Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand. This is the region known as Devbhoomi, or the abode of the Gods, sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs alike. The source of the most sacred river in India, the Ganga and its biggest tributary, the Yamuna lies in the region called Gangotri and Yamunotri. This is in West Garhwal, but between that and the Eastern most Garhwal glacier of Pindar lies the source of rivers such as Mandakini, Alaknanda, Bal Ganga and Bhilangana.
There is this apocryphal story of how three men reacted on seeing a pedestrian ahead of them falling into a ditch. While the one immediately following the victim too fell into the ditch, the second person avoided the pothole saving himself whereas the third man got hold of a cover, covered the ditch and made a safe path for himself and others to cross the ditch.