Mon State government minister of natural resources and environment conservation Dr. Min Kyi said that they did not provide information on potential landslide sites in advance as they did not want people to get concerned over the potential for this form of natural disaster.
He said these words on September 19 at legislative assembly regular session in reply to question asked by legislator Zaw Zaw Htoo from Paung constituency (2) on how the government had done on matters relating with landslide which happened in Paung Township.
“According to the analysis made by the experts and academics, there are 14 sites where landslide happened in the past. They presented to us that these sites have potential to see more landslides again. And also they presented that there are 21 more sites which have the potential to happen landslides. We cannot say yet the exact location of these sites. We worry about making people concerned over these potential landslides if we disclose these probable landslide sites precisely,” he said.
After the landslide in Thae Phyu Kone village, Paung Township, Mon State happened on August 9 this year which killed about 60 people, the geological academic and expert group constituted by Mon State government Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Conservation did a field survey and they found 21 sites which have potential for landslides.
The minister added that based on the findings, observations and recommendations submitted by this geological expert group, they would conduct awareness campaigns among the people and proposals for their relocation.
Regarding to this reply, legislator Zaw Zaw Htoo equated the process with a doctor helping a patient to eat the right food to prevent disease, calling for disclosure.
“We want him to answer whether these potential sites are close to residential areas or not by disclosing precise locations. They should give this information to people officially because we can do prevention work only if we have such information of precise locations of these potential landslide sites. Only after getting this information we can do relocation and evacuation work as and when necessary,” the legislator added.
The minister said that they were gathering all related information regarding with landslides and they had a plan to let people know.
The geological expert group gave recommendations in their report not to build houses on steep slopes of the mountains and hills, residing at the foot of hills, digging at the foot of the hill for making plot for building of houses as it is very difficult to control and predict the landslides.
Mon State government chief minister Dr. Aye Zan once said that his government would ban sand mining elsewhere in the state and they would take stern action against violators in accordance with the law.