'Kodagu landslides are man-made'

'Kodagu landslides are man-made'

A file photo of landslide in Kodagu in August.

The committee of experts from the Geological Survey of India (GSI), in its final report on landslides in Kodagu, has concluded that that the disaster was purely man-made.

Following severe landslides in 150 locations in Kodagu in August, the government constituted a committee comprising Geological Survey Department director K V Maruthi, senior geologist Ankur Kumar Srivastav and geologist Sundandan Basu.

The expert committee carried out inspections in the places of landslides and submitted a primary report to the district administration on September 26. After an elaborate research, the team of experts has come up with the final document and has submitted the same to the government, according to sources.

The report has clearly stated that too much of human interference and excessive deforestation in 38 villages in the district have lead to the landslides. The incidents of minor earthquake in July, however, have nothing to do with landslides.

“Roads have been constructed in an unscientific fashion, by bulldozing hills in Kodagu district. Natural hills have been demolished while constructing roads, without taking up any precautionary measures. Hills have also been destroyed for the construction of houses, hotels, resorts, home stays and coffee plantations. The act has caused damage to the natural landscape of the region. The severely damaged hills have collapsed when the floodwater gushed in. Modern amenities built on the hills, have triggered a huge scale disaster,” said the report.

Meanwhile, the expert committee, in its report, has recommended for strict measures towards the protection of hilly regions.

“There is a need to restrict the usage of hills to prevent similar man-made disasters in future. Proper stormwater drain facilities should be made on the highways passing through the hilly regions. Trees should be grown on slopes, along with constructing protective walls,” the report added.