hunthar veng leitlahniamZODIN SANGA 

AIZAWL, June 17: A large four-storey building at Hunthar neighbourhood in Aizawl that is on the verge of collapse with chances of causing disastrous effects has caused nightmares for the nearby residents. The building belonging to a high-profile government official, late B Sairengpuii, sister-in-law of Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, is one of several houses in the area affected by subsidence of land for quite some time. Last year, the local administration had dismantled six other vulnerable buildings while a three-storied building collapsed. The major building in the affected area that belongs to Sairengpuii was also ordered to be demolished, which has not been done till today. 

Rumours did the rounds since last year that the building was insured and the owners would not be able to claim insurance in case of demolition. The rumours said this was the main reason for the building not being demolished. Recent heavy rains have worsened the situation as huge portion of the soil on which the building stood has slid, leaving a large hole under the building. The National Highway that connects Aizawl and the State’s sole airport Lengpui Airport and western parts of Mizoram runs through the sinking zone, which means this road is likely to be blocked. 

A five-member Quick Response Team under Aizawl District Disaster Management Authority (ADDMA) has been standing guard since Friday night in case of any eventuality. QRT team members said it is difficult to predict the consequences that collapse of the building can cause. They said Hazard Safety Cell will prepare safety measures on how to deal with the building. ADDMA officials said demolition order for the building has been issued last year. Even though the order has not been revoked, the building is yet to be demolished. The family members said after they received the demolition order, landslide re-occurred as they started demolition. As the situation appeared to improve later, they did not resume the demolition. 

However, as the situation got worse this monsoon, they have evacuated the building. Geological experts said there is no way to prevent the building from collapsing. What can be done is to prevent collateral damage. There are chances that if the building collapses, huge portion of the road, which is part of the National Highway, that runs on the upper side of the building will go with it, and also put several other houses nearby in danger. 

Meanwhile, flood situation in low-lying areas of Mizoram has improved after the State has experienced no rains since the last three days.

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