Ooty: Unplanned development blamed for landslides

Udhagamandalam: With development which was incompatible with the carrying capacity of the hills going unchecked for several years, a people’s initiative has come into being at Kotagiri to check the disastrous trend.

Speaking to ‘The Hindu’ here on Wednesday, the Convener of the initiative named Nature’s Eyelids Environment Protection Committee, M.L. Alphonse Raj, said that it would play a proactive role in protecting the environment and opposing activities which were environmentally hazardous.

Pointing out that it will soon become a district-level committee, he said that unplanned development was the main reason for the landslides that occurred in various parts of the Nilgiris recently.

Adverting to resolutions passed at a recent meeting of the Committee, he said that as per the order of the High Court unauthorised structures should be removed forthwith by the district administration.

A law should be enacted to prevent misuse of farm lands. A ban should be imposed on construction of multi-storied buildings, resorts, palatial bungalows etc. A survey of commercial buildings near forest areas should be conducted and those which affected the privacy of wild animals should be closed. The people should adhere to rules while constructing buildings and the area should not exceed five cents. Constructions should not be allowed on steep slopes.

All encroachments along water courses should be removed and steps should be taken to prevent the practice of blocking storm water outlets with cement. Dams, lakes and checkdams should be desilted periodically.



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