Post Mortem

Possible fresh initiative for GoN (Part II)

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/21/2018 12:12:29 PM IST

 (From previous issue)

(B)Natural Disaster Management: There can be no dispute over the remark of Hon’ble CM that mankind has no control over the wrath of Mother Nature. But to only “call upon the citizens to be aware of problems that could occur due to unplanned development and encroachment of drain, especially in the urban area” sounds much too simplistic a solution to mitigate the monstrous disaster that awaits a place like Kohima. His statement covered by Eastern Mirror: Thursday, August 16, 2018 along with all the other local print media that (Quote): “Adherence and enforcement of building bye-laws is absolutely essential given that the state is situated in seismic zone five, which is most vulnerable to earthquakes” (Unquote) is certainly an accurate reflection of a requirement but was silent on action plan in the enforcement front. The building bye-laws, which have been in existence since 1991, should urgently be dug up, updated and vigorously enforced. There is also a need to inculcate a civic responsibility amongst the urban dwellers and root out the aggressive “Kya Hai!...It’s my land and what I do with it is my business” attitude. The urban residents must be made to realise that they are not living in total isolation on a marooned island. What they carelessly do on their land could very well cost the lives of their neighbours. When travelling up to Kohima from Dimapur, one never fails to notice a very unnerving sight (on the opposite flank of the Para-medical junction), of a jam packed houses precariously clinging on to unstable landslide prone hillside with dense high-rise buildings above them. This is a terminal disaster-in-waiting. In fact this is a common rampant sight everywhere in urban Kohima. Now consider how many of these high-rise buildings have earthquake proof foundries laid according to building bye-law before construction?...perhaps limited to a very negligible percentage. Apart from the danger of landslides where the whole hill moves from under you, imagine the catastrophic consequence when an earthquake of 4 or 5 or 6 in the richter-scale hits this sector. The collapsing high-rise structures above will destroy what the earthquake fail to smash. Similar unsettling replication can be seen along ‘Phulbari’ main road, above the New Market locality...which has a history of the whole hillside sinking. The unchecked high-rise buildings six /seven stories high with questionable foundries will definitely pose additional threat beyond the earthquake for those living below. Therefore, simply asking the citizens to be aware of unplanned development and encroachment on drains is hardly the answer. This responsibility squarely rests with the Government to vigorously inspect and enforce safety standards especially in such a critical landslide prone zones and at least take necessary measures to stop reckless upward extension of floors on weak foundry. In general, the present urban Kohima is headed for a monstrous disaster of the century with the prediction of impending earthquakes that will eventually come when it will come. Perhaps there is no reliable remedy to mitigate the threat of a horrendous disaster within the already existing establishments but any further infrastructural expansion should strictly be regulated for everyone’s safety. Most importantly, Nagaland being situated in a seismic hot zone, the Government must do everything within it powers to convince the Centre to establish a state of the art Seismological Centre at any relevant location in Nagaland with efficient advance warning system put in place. Our people across the board deserve a fighting chance of a forewarning. This must be considered as an elementary responsibility that cannot be evaded. 



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