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MK Exclusive: Ramban land sinking a natural calamity: NDMA

Srinagar May 27: An expert team from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), which recently visited the Ramban area of Jammu and Kashmir affected by land sinking, has called it a natural calamity.
The mountainous Chenab Valley in Jammu and Kashmir has become a hotspot for land sinking, with around six incidents occurring over the last year.
The most recent incident of land sinking took place on April 26, leaving around 400 people homeless and damaging over 60 houses and a power grid station in the village of Parnote on Gool-Sangaldan Road in the Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has announced compensation for the affected families. Locals claim that the soil in the area has weakened due to construction activities, such as roads, tunnels, and hydroelectric projects in areas like Doda, Ramban, and Kishtwar districts, in addition to earthquakes that have hit these areas.
However, a five-member team of expert scientists, deputed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), recently conducted a detailed survey of the Parnote area, affected by the land-subsidence phenomenon in Ramban, and ruled out that this happened because of construction activities.
The team was led by Professor D.P. Kanungo, Chief Scientist from CBRI, said they are making a comprehensive report and will submit it to the Ministry of Home Affairs about the Ramban incident.
He shared some of the findings of the report and said it was a natural calamity.
“This particular incident has not happened because of the construction of tunnels or roads. This happened because there is water coming from the top, including from springs. However, there are rocks which retain that water and do not allow it to discharge into the river Chenab. This retained water has also formed ponds in this area. When water crosses and flows over the soil, it creates mud sliding and damages property, which is what happened last month,” he said.
He said 1.2 kilometers of the area have been washed away, damaging houses, the power grid station, and the road. However, he said the impact has been felt for several kilometers.
The team has suggested various measures to prevent such incidents from being repeated. “Some preventive measures have to be taken; otherwise, more areas will be affected. We have suggested channelizing the water into the river and not allowing water to retain in the soil. We have asked authorities to make timber pilings so that soil does not retain water and flows into the river Chenab,” he said.

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