Mangaluru : Fear of landslides triggers exodus from KNP

1:02 PM, Saturday, September 14th, 2019

MakkiMangaluru : “When it starts raining, we sit up wide awake fearing our and the family’s safety throughout the night,” said a woman residing in Makki near Didupe in Beltangady taluk.

With the massive landslides and floods destroying paddy fields and areca plantations a month ago, 14 families residing in Makki, Parla, Daipittilu and Ilyarakanda had been deprived of their only source of livelihood.

Though the floodwaters receded, the areca plantations and paddy fields continue to be covered with silt. The irrigation channels laid to water their plantations were destroyed in the flood.

“Even sourcing drinking water was difficult for these families as perennial springs had turned into rivulets and streams had flowed into massive rivers,” informs Dinesh Holla of Sahyadri Sanchaya.

Holla after visiting these families residing within the Kudremukh National Park (KNP) said that the government must rehabilitate these families as it is cultivation has become impossible in these flood-hit villages.

“As many as 18 families voluntarily submitted applications for being rehabilitated from KNP,” Beltangady Range Forest Officer (Wildlife) Manjunath told when contacted.

Sources in the district administration said that the rehabilitation committee had received applications from 22 families in KNP. “Some applicants who are residing outside the National Park are not eligible,” sources added.

Deputy Conservator of Forests (Kudremukh Wildlife Division) Ruthren P confirmed that after the August 9 floods many families had decided to relocate from the KNP.

As per the 2004-05 notification, the families residing both within and outside the KNP will be rehabilitated and suitably compensated, he said.

A forest guard in Didupe Raju told that the physical survey of land, owned by those willing to relocate from the park, would be a Herculean task.

“As the survey stones were washed away, the government should fix a lump sum compensation to those surrendering their land to the Forest Department,” Raju stressed.

If the applications are expedited, more families in Pathalike Soorli, Bolle, Bangarapalike in Elaneeru, Adyathodi, Thimmayyakanda, Ganesha Nagara near Kajooru and Arasinamakki in Beltangady taluk are likely to submit applications, sources added.

Landslides had occurred at more than 10 locations at Durgada Betta, Dodderi betta, Bale Gudda, Hasamane gudda, Melmane Betta and Ramana Gudda, said Dinesh Holla of Sahyadri Sanchaya.

Massive rocks and gigantic trees had rolled down to the villages causing floods.

The forest now reverberates with strange sounds. A three feet stream in Nandikadu had turned into a 80-feet river. Due to landslides, new waterfalls were created.

A team comprising of geologists and experts on the Western Ghats should carry out a study and ensure that there are no more landslides in the region.


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