Panel to form guideline for protection of Western Ghats

Panel to study landslides, form guidelines for protection of Western Ghats

B S Yediyurappa file photo (DH Photo)

With the monsoon at the doorstep, the state government has set up an expert committee to study the landslide-hit places in Western Ghats to begin understanding and mapping of the vulnerable areas.

On January 10, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had issued a note to the Department of Forest, Environment and Ecology proposing that a committee led by the chairman of Karnataka Biodiversity Board should be set up to study the landslide disasters across the state.

In a decision taken last week, and made available to the media on Saturday, the department has notified a committee comprising experts, scientists and senior officials from several departments.

The committee will visit and survey the landslide-hit areas, look into the existing studies, take inputs from different departments and committees set up for studying the landslide-hit areas.

Biodiversity Board Chairman Anant Hegde Ashisara, who is appointed the head of the 10-member committee, said they have been given a mandate to submit a scientific study on the guidelines to be adopted and the steps needed to take to prevent such disasters in future.

Scientists from Isro, IISc and Geological Survey of India as well as heads from forest and disaster management departments are part of the committee.

The committee's report is crucial as it provides guidelines for the protection of the vulnerable areas like Western Ghats, which is crucial at a time the government is favouring projects like Hubballi-Ankola railway line.