Govt to assess geo status of quake-hit districts

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Govt to assess geo status of quake-hit districts

May 19, 2015-

The government on Tuesday formed a high-level taskforce to assess the geological status of six districts which were most severely affected by the Great Earthquake of April 25 and its aftershocks. The team will determine whether certain places affected by the tremor are appropriate for habitation.

The Ministry of Industry (MoI) has formed a team under the Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG) to be deployed in Gorkha, Sindhupalchok, Dhading, Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Dolakha districts which have been identified as highly affected. DoMG Director General Sarbajeet Mahato will lead the nine-member taskforce.

A recent cabinet meeting had formed a committee under the chairmanship of Home Minister Bamdev Gautam to look after the task of rehabilitation. The committee had assigned the task of assessing the situation of highly impacted areas to the MoI.

Industry Minister Mahesh Basnet said that the DoMG had prepared 18 teams which will access the geological structure and status of 18 locations in 18 districts. Each team will comprise three geologists.

“The team will start work on Wednesday,” Basnet said, adding that the taskforce would be submitting a report within seven days. “The team of experts will be making a preliminary study on whether Barpak and Larpak in Gorkha and similar other highly affected places in the districts that bore the brunt of the tremor are good for for settlement or not,” Basnet said.

The 18 teams under the DoGM will contain representatives from the Home and Urban Development ministries, Irrigation and Survey departments, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Icimod) and geology professors from Tribhuvan University, among others.       

According to Basnet, the experts will study data collected by satellite and access the impact of the Great Quake from it. “The report to be submitted within seven days will contain information like the earthquake’s impact, geological studies of the concerned areas and whether a particular spot is safe for settlement or not,” Basnet said.

If any location is determined to be unsafe for habitation, the government will study the possibility of rehabilitating and resettling the earthquake victims in another place.

The report prepared by the taskforce will be submitted to the committee chaired by the home minister. Based on the report, the committee will prepare a report which will be endorsed by the Cabinet.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, a total of 63,885 private homes in Sindhupalchok district were completely destroyed by the earthquake. Similarly, 57,943 homes were destroyed in Nuwakot, 48,880 at Dolakha, 43,741 in Dhading, 36,973 in Kathmandu and 7,040 at Rasuwa.

Since the monsoon season is approaching, there is pressure on the government to come up with an effective rehabilitation plan for the earthquake victims, especially in the most affected and remote areas.

Published: 20-05-2015 08:00

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