Unscientific work led to landslides in Gajagiri Betta

Unscientific work led to landslides in Gajagiri Betta

A file photo of the landslide at Gajagiri Betta.

A team of geologists, who had conducted a study on the landslides that occurred at Gajagiri Betta in Talacauvery in August, have submitted their preliminary report to the district administration.

The 16-page report has recommended a few precautionary measures to check such landslides in the future.

The team has attributed the work on percolation pits taken up by the forest department, cracks developed on the hilly ranges, unscientific road work, human interference and heavy rain as the reasons for the landslides.

The landslides had occurred on Gajagiri Betta on August 6. Based on the request by the Kodagu district administration, experts Kapil Singh and Kamal Kumar had visited Talacauvery on August 14 and 15 to conduct a study.

Talacauvery had experienced minor landslides in 2007 and 2019. As a continuation, major landslides had occurred at the spot in August, claiming the lives of five persons including Talacauvery priest Narayana Achar.

The experts said that unscientific road work was taken up on the foothills of Gajagiri Betta. Owing to the percolation pits, rainwater has seeped inside and the structure was weakened. Further, heavy rain resulted in massive landslides.

To check such incidents, the experts have recommended the laying of all-weather road in Brahmagiri areas.

Measures should be taken to ensure that rainwater does not percolate. A strong foundation must be laid while constructing retaining walls, they said.

More plants should be planted. If any cracks are noticed on the hilly ranges, they should be filled immediately, they added.

District In-charge Minister V Somanna said that after the Gram Panchayat elections, elected representatives will discuss permanent measures to be taken to check landslides in future. Accordingly, the government will take measures.

MP Pratap Simha said that there is a need for an in-depth study on landslides in Kodagu and to find solutions to check such incidents.