This is with reference to the editorial “Slip sliding away” (Nov. 14). The recent spell of heavy rains and the consequent loss of lives, particularly in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, are a grim reminder of the wrongdoings perpetrated on nature in the name of development. It is a pity that commercial exploitation of the hilly terrain went on over the years without any one paying regard to the environmental impact. The innocent and helpless people of the hills have paid the price for the lapses of the authorities. It is high time we gave the best attention to comprehensively understand the issue.

A. Saratchandran Menon,

Palakkad

As the editorial has rightly said, the damage done is irreversible. At least in future, governments should ensure a strict implementation of regulations, particularly those related to quarrying, deforestation and construction of houses on slopes. Steps may also be taken to beautify the parks and gardens and protect the animals in the Mudumalai forest.

R. Srinarayan,

Chennai Reports show that many who died in the recent rains in the Nilgiris were living on the slopes. It is the nexus between politicians, businessmen and government officials of different departments that contributed to the indiscriminate felling of trees and construction of houses, and illegal quarrying activities. The hue and cry raised by environmentalists were in vain. It is time to come down heavily on erring officials.

Ramya Ravindran,

Cuddalore

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