Come down hard on illegal earth-cutting 

Heavy rainfall has caused devastation all over Arunachal Pradesh. Properties have been destroyed and innocent lives have been lost. Till now, nature has claimed nine lives in the state and 524 houses have been damaged in 87 villages. On Sunday, in a tragic incident, a 16-year-old boy was killed in a landslide near Papu Hill, Naharlagun. The boy, identified as Rage Hilli, was riding a motorcycle and got buried in the debris. His death is a classic example of a manmade disaster.

Earth-cutting work being carried out near the Papu-Yupia highway is reported to be the cause of the landslide that led to the death of late Hilli. If the authorities had taken enough measures, the young boy would not have had to pay with his life. The authorities should launch an investigation into the incident. It is noticed that the majority of natural disasters that hit the state during monsoon season are manmade. Most of the time, it happens because of illegal earth-cutting. The authorities have miserably failed to take action against people involved in such kinds of illegal activities. The district magistrates keep on issuing notices banning earth-cutting and warning of action against defaulters. But they never take strong action and this emboldens the wrongdoers. How many more innocent lives have to be lost before the authorities wake up from their deep slumber? It is time they got their act together and came down hard on people indulging in illegal earth-cutting.