The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will carry out a terrain evaluation to identify hill slopes in Idukki that are prone to landslides.
The initiative is part of the Rs. 80 crore study to map the impact of climate change on agriculture, fisheries, industries, transport, tourism, bio-diversity and forestry sectors in Kerala. The study will be carried out in areas along the roads linking Neriyamangalam - Adimaly - Munnar – Mattupetti and Neriyamangalam – Vannapuram - Kanjikuzhy – Idukki.
The evaluation would begin once the Department of Science and Technology approves the proposal. Pankaj Gupta, Principal Scientist at CSIR-CRRI, who is the Principal Project Investigator, told The Hindu over telephone from New Delhi on Thursday that the study assumes significance following the landslides in Idukki.
Dr. Gupta said excessive or erratic rainfall is the triggering factor for the landslides in the region. He said the study would focus on the anthropological factors (land use) behind the increasing number of landslides in the region. He said modernisation cannot be stopped but care should be taken to ensure that it was in harmony with the environment.
As per the project proposal, Idukki is facing more problems related to landslides owing to high human interference. Landslides in Kerala still require greater thought and awareness for systematic evaluation and mitigation. Development pace should take place in accordance with nature in a controlled manner, it said.
Dr. Gupta said the study would identify the landslide-vulnerable slopes. He said extensive field work would be carried out in the areas identified for the study and the team would also come up with remedial measures.