54. Reading Skills Comprehension: Nainital—Nearing Its Doomsday?

By | May 28, 2020

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1. The 7869-ft high Sher-ka-Danda (Tiger’s Ridge), one of the seven hills that surround the lake-town may come down roaring someday once again.

2. It may result in a catastrophe, thousand times more in terms of magnitude and the resulting devastation than it had been in 1866, 1869, 1880, 1898 and 1924. An observation of the civil department of IIT Roorki suggests this apprehension.

3.R. Balagan is a veteran geologist from IIT-Roorkee. He attributes the cause of the recent devastating erosion from the Varunavat hill in Uttarkashi to the random layout and alignment of the roads and unplanned construction on the face of the hill.

4. He is as per a recently released report, of the opinion that in Nainital to roads have a rather straighter elongation at the foot and face of the referred hill. This increases the possibility of a landslide. Prof. Balagan is a member of the team that is to study the vulnerability of the referred ridge.

5. The study is being made on the request of the district administration. The professor states that alarming signals like the appearance of fissures and crevices on the expanse of the hill and seepage of water from the lower body of the rocks, which normally precede such a catastrophe have been crisscrossing Sher-ka-Danda.

6. Mounting pressure on such hills, consequent on rapid construction is further increased when the surface runoff seeps into these fissures and exerts ‘pore-pressure’. All this, says the expert, has been happening in Nainital since long.

7. A senior member of the Department of Geology in the University of Kumaon states that most of the hills surrounding Nainital are constitutionally not stable.

8. As for Sher-ka-Danda,—balancing the maximum load of concrete on its face—it has long been dubbed ikc a heap of “loose debris and rotten shale”. Exerting a considerable pressure, parts of it are shifting -” towards the lake.

9. Drifting of a stretch of Mall Road along the shoreline of the lake is perceptible to anyone and the tale of this drift is conspicuous enough at Saint Loo Ridge in Sher-ka-Danda 2000 ft above the shoreline.

10. Geologists from the Kum aon University carrying out field researches in the region say that several cracks on the ridge are advancing from north to south. Their expanse may be seen right from compartment No. seven, close to the ropeway system on the very ridge, to the Alukhet village on the outskirts of the town.

11. For masses, the State Government and the district administration seem to have turned a blind eye towards this imminent danger.

12. In the Alukhet village, where because of the fissures being ever on increase partial evacuation takes place every year during the rainy season, no provision for disaster management has yet been provided. Such a promise was reportedly made by the district administration seven years back, though. On the most vulnerable Sher-ka-Danda, in spite of the directives of the apex court following a PIL filed by a renowned activist from the town, construction spree in complete disregard to the provisions for the derangement of natural drainage channels has been ‘let loose’.

13. Rajeev Lochan Sah, a veteran columnist, refers to the forgotten by-laws of Municipal Corporation and the Hillside Safety Committee, formulated following the massive landslide of 1880 and enforced strictly till the wake of independence.

14. He asks, “Do we need warnings from experts to remind us that Nainital is heading towards the doomsday? Isn’t it written boldly on the defaced expanse of hills? History is bound to repeat itself if we don’t stop repeating our mistakes”. —   

                                                                                                                                    Source: Rajshekhar Pant (The Hindustan Times)

1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, complete the following statements as briefly as possible. Write your answers in the answer sheets against the correct blank number.

(a) According to Prof. R. Balagan, the causes of the recent devastating erosion from the Varunavat hill in Uttarkashi are  ………………

 (b) The Geologists from the Kumaon University have noticed that   ……………………

(c) Sher-ka-Danda balances the maximum load of concrete on its face. Exerting ……………………….

(d) Partial evacuation takes place every year in the Alukhet village during the rainy season because ………

 (e) PIL was filed because construction spree had been let loose. It was in …………………..

 (f) ‘Nainital is heading towards doomsday ?’ asks Rajeev Lochan Shah and says  ……………………..

2. Find words from the paragraphs indicated which mean the same as the following. Write the answers in your answer sheets.

 (a) a sudden disaster (para 2/5)

(b) a person who has a lot of experience in a particular area/activity (para 3)

(c) weakness and liable to be hurt easily (para 4)

(d) noticeable (para 9)

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