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Sinking Land Signs Global Warming Effect In Nepal - Pokhara

The sudden sinking of land, which prompted as many as 17 families to flee their houses in Armala VDC of Kaski district last week, is a result of haphazard construction of buildings on the natural path of a seasonal stream, concluded geologists on Tuesday. Geologists say that the plain land at Thulibeshi of Armala is gradually sinking after water flowing on the seasonal stream could not find a proper outlet and started to erode the soil underneath.

Over 50 buildings could cave anytime in due to the subsiding land, cautioned the geologists. “The stream flows through the village and it remains dry throughout the year except in rainy the season. 

Taking advantage of the course of the stream, villagers constructed tall buildings, and in some cases, they even disrupted the natural course of the stream by erecting buildings,” said Lila Nath Rimal, a geologist at the Department of Geology. “As a result, the stream water could not find an outlet and started to claim land,” he added. A team of geologists led by Rimal had arrived in Armala on Tuesday to survey the area. “There is a layer of aggregation up to five meters from the ground level, and a layer of white mica soil (Kamero soil) under it. After the stream could not find an outlet, it seeped into soil, liquefying the second layer,” he explained. The geologists have also found that the authorities concerned, too, obstructed the natural flow of the stream by raising its bed surface level by three meters to construct a black-topped road along the village. It also loosened soil on the banks of the stream speeding up the disaster. Big holes have surfaced under many houses and plain lands, some of them up to 15 feet deep. Importantly, the holes have developed only on the periphery of the seasonal stream.

To avert any untoward incident, the government should immediately take initiatives to provide an outlet to water flowing beneath the surface, suggested the geologists.They warned that larger span of land could subside if the authorities concerned do not act swiftly. A report prepared by the geology department in 1998 had concluded that the area is not safe for human settlement.
The department had also urged the local authorities not to allow the local residents to construct more than one-story buildings in the area. Locals turned a deaf ear to the advice and went on to erect up to three-story buildings. Meanwhile, Ishwor Raj Pokharel, the Local Development Officer of the district, said that efforts are being made to release the underground water. “We are digging up hopes to release water. We are using modern technology for the purpose,” he said. 

He further said that the authorities are planning to place a ban on any kind of construction along the banks of the stream from now onward. 

Photograph by: vijayshantisubedi
Source: www.myrepublica.com


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