Houses collapsing in Mizoram’s sinking zones force landlords to turn tenants in Aizawl
Officials said Aizawl and the hills around have been landslide-prone, but the sinking in certain areas began accelerating five years ago.Updated: Apr 25, 2017 09:42 IST
Sinking zones have made tenants out of several house-owners in Aizawl. Ten landlords were added to the list on Sunday, after a house collapsed due to heavy rainfall.
Hunthar Veng is one of half a dozen sinking localities of Aizawl, Mizoram’s capital at an elevation of 1,30m. A Baptist church and 65 houses, including the 10 on Sunday, have been vacated in this locality since spring last year.
The local administration dismantled six other vulnerable buildings while the three-storied building owned by Lalrinmawi collapsed on Sunday after the rain-drained earth under it sank.
The past few months also saw about 60 vulnerable houses being vacated in the Ramhlun area. Resting precariously in the locality is a multi-purpose stadium, one of the state government’s showpiece sports projects.
The other localities perched dangerously include Sihpui and Laipuitlang, where landslip killed 17 people in March 2013.
Officials said Aizawl and the hills around have been landslide-prone, but the sinking in certain areas began accelerating five years ago.
“We mapped the most vulnerable localities and asked the people to evacuate their houses. At the same time, the department has been providing funds for construction of proper drainage and retaining walls,” C Lalpeksanga, director of disaster management and rehabilitation department, said.
One of the first to abandon house in Hunthar was B Sairengpuii, a retired bureaucrat and chief minister Lal Thanhawla’s sister-in-law.
The family of her neighbour Vaninmawia, a Mizo National Front leader, had been spending their nights outdoors. After Sunday’s house collapse, they finally decided to shift lock, stock and barrel.
“Many house-owners who have moved out of sinking zones have either become tenants or are living with their relatives elsewhere,” Vaninmawia said.
Only a few, like Lalrinmawi, own another house to stay in.
First Published: Apr 25, 2017 09:42 IST