HIGHLANDS IN KERALA
What’s in news?
Destabilising geological processes, coupled with extreme rainfall events and unscientific farming and construction activities, pose a serious threat to human habitation in the highlands of Kerala.
- The National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS), carried out an investigation in the wake of the heavy rain and devastating floods in August 2018 had found that land subsidence, lateral spread, and soil piping were an immediate threat to life and property in the uplands.
- The investigation (or) study, which primarily focussed on landslip-prone areas in Thrissur and Kannur
- The team also surveyed areas in Malappuram and Wayanad, including Kavalappara and Meppadi, where rescue teams are still sifting through the debris of destructive landslips which occurred last week.
- During the investigation, the researchers found;
- Most of the slopes were used for raising crops and farmers had blocked the natural drainage systems.
- Developmental activity like construction of roads and buildings.
- Huge cracks across farmlands and dwellings.
- Cracks had been developed on the walls and basement of the house, rendering them unsuitable for habitation.
- Lateral spreading, subsidence, soil piping and crack development are quite unusual phenomena and the sites need immediate rehabilitation
- By founding the above mentioned problems, the NCESS gave few recommendations to tackle the issues in future i.e.,
- Network of Landslip Monitoring Stations.
- The trained task force for the highlands.
Network of Landslip Monitoring Stations:
- The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has initiated steps to establish a network of landslip monitoring stations in the highlands based on the recommendations of the NCESS.
- The units based on acoustic emission technology will also have an early warning mechanism to alert the local community.
Trained task force:
- The formation of a trained task force for the highlands to monitor ground signatures like hollows, cracks, and water spouts that often precede land subsidence, lateral spread, and landslips.
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