Dar -- the first village of Darma valley in Dharchula sub-division of the district -- is gradually sliding down the slope as a result of the weakening land surface on which it stands making it unfit for human habitation, a geologist who surveyed the village on the orders of the district administration said.
"At least 35 families out of a total of 150 living in the village need to be shifted immediately as the houses they live in are slowly sliding down the slope," said Pradeep Kumar, who led a team of geologists to the village for a survey recently, on Saturday.
The cause of the downward slide of the village is the widening work on the Sobla-Tidang road besides underground water bodies that are making their way downwards resulting in weakening of the land surface on which the village is situated, he said.
These water bodies went underground after being buried under tonnes of landslide debris around 200 years ago and are gradually receding further downwards making the upper layers of the soil even weaker, Kumar said.
"The village is situated on landslide debris and already has weak soil, having no hard rocks beneath," he said. Nearly 200 villages of Dharchula and Munsyari sub-divisions are situated on debris that accumulated following landslides in the surrounding hills over centuries and are highly sensitive to landslips, he said.
Gram Pradhan of Dar village Savita Devi had written to the administration complaining about the sliding slope of some houses in the village. A team of geologists led by Pradeep Kumar was sent by the district administration to the village for a survey following her complaint.
"The families living in endangered houses need to be immediately shifted to safe places as a calamity might occur any moment," she warned.
Dharchula SDM A K Shukla said further action will be taken after he receives the survey report from the team of geologists and studies it in detail.