Government preparing report in haste, says panel

A five-member panel, which conducted a study on the landslip at Pullurampara and surrounding areas, has called upon the government to draw up a more fruitful rehabilitation package for the farmers who suffered loss in the incident.

The panel, led by environmentalist A. Achyuthan, appealed to the government to conduct a geographical study in the landslip-hit areas and take up appropriate measures to mitigate such crisis in future.

Presenting the findings of the panel before the media here on Saturday, Prof. Achyuthan said it was a rain-induced landslip and not one triggered by a cloudburst.

Downpour

He said the team could find evidence of a downpour in the region that led to the landslip. The panel members, S. Sreekumar, K. Sreedharan, E. Abdul Hameed and K.T. Radhakrishnan, said the government was yet to conduct a scientific study on the issue and assess the actual loss to farmers in the area.

The compensation announced was very little and would not address the concerns of the victims’ families, they said.

Prof. Achyuthan and Prof. Sreedharan alleged that the government was preparing a report in haste without seeking the opinion of the victims. The farmers who lost large tracts of farmland should be given separate land and a monitoring committee should be formed to ensure that the farmers got compensation.

Referring to the lack of disaster management measures, the panel said such disasters could occur again in the region which would worsen the situation.

As a preventive measure, the government should set up rain-gauge stations in hilly areas and issue timely warnings to those residing in vulnerable areas.

The report of the study, which was conducted under the aegis of the Kelu Ettan Study and Research Centre, would be submitted for the consideration of the government next month.

The panel would also convene a meeting of the landslip-hit families and collect their opinion regarding a suitable rehabilitation package.

Keywords: Keralalandslipfarmersrelief