A landslip had claimed eight lives at Pulloorampara last monsoon.

A year has passed, but the memory still haunts residents of Pulloorampara. A landslip had claimed eight lives here last monsoon.

This year too monsoon has been copious, and the threat of landslip is very real. Not just for Pulloorampara, but for nearby hilly regions such as Kallurutti, Anakkampoyil, and Koompara.

“We are yet to come out of the trauma of the last year’s accident,” said Chariplackal Mathew a settler farmer at Thalayadu near Pulloorampara. The eight victims included five members of a family.

This year, because of incessant rain lasting several days, the farmers have not been able to do even regular work, such as spraying insecticide on crops. “The monsoon has already affected areca nut and coconut crops,” they said.

According to K. Johnson, a farmer from Pulloorampara, illegal quarrying at several parts of the geographically fragile hilly region is also contributing to the landslip threat.

“Indiscriminate and illegal quarrying of granite and laterite is continuing in several parts of the region with the silent consent of officials,” says Mr. Johnson.

In the meantime, vehicular traffic has been restored on Kakkayam Road where a minor landslip had destroyed a portion of the road obstructing traffic to the Kakkayam dam site. “Only officials of the KSEB, Forest, and Police departments and some occasional tourists were using this road,” said Koyilandy tahsildar Saji Damodar. He said that further landslips could not be ruled out in the region if rain continued in the same intensity for a few more days.

“Entry of tourists to the region has been strictly restricted by the District Collector for the time being,” he said.

The region’s wait for a permanent unit of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) continues despite the authorities’ promise to set it up in Kozhikode in 2009. “As usual the government is now waiting for the next disaster to happen to act upon their promise,” said Mr. Johnson.

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