Jodhpur: Geologists have warned that the residential colonies in and around the seven hills, including the 1.81-kilometre (km) peripheral area, surrounding the Masuria hill in Jodhpur, are under threat of landslides and should be declared landslide-prone zones.
Masuria Hill experienced its first-ever landslide on October 4, 2019, which damaged significant geo-resources along with many houses, properties and also injured many people in Jodhpur’s Bank Colony.
Landslides at Masuria Hill triggered panic among local residents because of the sudden and rapid fall of massive boulders, which portend for a natural disaster.
Researchers at the Department of Geology of Jai Narain Vyas University (JNVU) and Suresh Gyan Vihar University in Jodhpur and Jaipur, respectively, who have tried to ascertain the cause of landslide in Masuria Hill, have found that 1.81-km peripheral area is susceptible to a similar natural disaster in the near future along with six other six hillocks that have identical rock disposition of the Umed Bhawan Formation (UBF).
Masuria Hill is a popular attraction for both Jodhpur residents and tourists alike. Several residential colonies, including several of them built illegally, have sprung up in the foothills and are under threat from landslides in the near future, as the last October’s incident had shown.
The study has revealed that the soft clay zone, primarily shale horizon, has been identified as failure plane and fall of massive boulders from the rigid sand zone had triggered the landslide. It also found that the two critical zones are spread along with the 1.81-km peripheral area surrounding Masuria Hill, which is located bang in the middle of Jodhpur city, making the adjoining areas prone to any such natural calamity in the near future.
“We have identified some factors, which are primarily earthwork and construction of buildings; vibrations from machinery and traffic; blasting for breaking and removing rocks leads to disturbing the natural disposition of rock sequences of Masuria Hill, especially soft clay zone. The first landslide occurred when Jodhpur received 30% more rainfall in September 2019, which might have aggravated the liquefaction and erosion at Masuria Hill,” said Dr. CP Khichi, who is associated with the geology department of JNVU.
He pointed out that three persons were killed and many were injured, when the landslide occurred at Jodhpur’s Uday Mandir area
These two incidents do not augur well for the future, as Jodhpur braces for natural disasters.
The residential areas around the seven hills such as Masuria Hill, Udai Mandir Hill, Kabir Nagar Hill, Pratap Nagar Hill, Mehrangarh Hill, Gol Nadi Hill along fort road, and Ganesh Bhakri Hill are most prone to landslides.
Experts said that these areas need to be declared as a landslide-prone zone in a bid to save properties, human lives and significant geological resources.