Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cracks on hill create panic among Gir's maldharis


Cracks on hill create panic among Gir’s maldharis

Ahmedabad Newsline


Rajkot, August 20: Three huge cracks on Timbarva Hill in Gir Forest (East) in Amreli district have created panic among maldharis staying nearby. Residents also claim that there was landslide and some trees were uprooted on the hill.

The three cracks, each measuring about 40 feet in depth, look like deep tunnels running from the top to bottom of the hill. This has put the residents of adjacent Rajgaria nes (settlement of maldharis), some 30 km from Dhari, in a fearsome situation.

According to reports, about a week ago, Rana Bhammar, a maldhari from Rajgaria nes, noticed a major change in the landscape of the hill. Bhammar said that it was a mystery as the region had not experienced any tremors or quake.

On Monday, the district administration began assessing the situation and collecting related information. While preliminary reports indicated that largescale soil erosion following heavy rains could have caused the cracks, an expert team comprising a geologist would visit the site on Tuesday to take stock of the situation.

“A team of experts will be sent on Tuesday to assess the ground situation. The team will consist of a geologist,” said Amreli Resident District Collector Keyur Sampat. “There is no reason to panic as the situation is absolutely normal,” he added.

The preliminary reports submitted to the collectorate by the mamlatdar called it soil erosion. “The review of the site by the mamlatdar pointed out to the possibility of soil erosion. Though it appears to be soil erosion, it is still too early to draw any conclusion with no expert opinion available yet,” said Sampat.

The region had received an average of 10 inches rainfall daily for five days about a fortnight back. The systematic pattern in which the cracks have emerged has led to panic and confusion among the locals.

“The hill reportedly got divided into equals parts. All the three cracks have emerged from a single point and they are about 40-feet deep,” said Sampat.

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