The Baliyanala is located in Hari Nagar, at a height of over 6,000 feet, on the outskirts of Nainital, less than a kilometre away from the Naini Lake.
The trepidation is now routine. Every morning, 45-year-old Mohammad Tayyab wakes up, walks out of a house he has rented, and climbs down the slope to the residence he actually owns. He does not stop at the four-room structure, long-practised strides navigating the descent without trouble. Five minutes later, he arrives at the sight he does not want to see, but must check every day, inching ever closer, threatening his house and the town of Nainital that he has always called home.
In front of him is the Baliyanala cliff, now an ever-growing slope of loose rubble and rock. Tayyab points and says, “In 2018, the landslide point was 40 to 50 metres away from my house. Then, another one took place on August 3 this year, and the cliff caved in barely 25 metres away. I was worried about the safety of my family, so we shifted to a rented one room flat, where I pay ₹7,000 a month. I will return in September when the rains end. But I still come to check every day, because I do not know whether I will have a home to come back to at all.”
The Baliyanala is located in Hari Nagar, at a height of over 6,000 feet, on the outskirts of Nainital, less than a kilometre away from the Naini Lake. There are 150 families that live on the mountainside, and every year, for the past four years, there have been landslides. Fearing being washed away, at least 40 of these families now relocate every year to other parts of Nainital, or government schools for shelter.