GSI: Plantations that obstruct natural drainage cause landslips


GSI assesses 42 spots in Chikkamagaluru, Mudigere taluks

Developing coffee plantation by obstructing the natural drainage and damaging the toe support of slopes are among reasons that caused landslips during the heavy rains in parts of Chikkamagaluru district in August this year, says a report submitted by the Geological Survey of India (GSI).

Several parts of Chikkamagaluru district received heavy rains in August this year. The rains caused landslips, forcing hundreds of people to move to safer places. The Chikkamagaluru district administration had asked the GSI to study the landslips reported in the district, particularly in Mudigere taluk.

Factors studied

The GSI had sent scientists Kapil Singh and Kamal Kumar, in response to a request, who visited 42 spots in Chikkamagaluru and Mudigere taluks for a specific study on the cause of landslips. They took geo-factor features such as slope morphometry, lithology structure, water, drainage, and slope into consideration while assessing the situation. They have made recommendations concerning each of the 42 locations.

The team, which studied the landslips at Malleshwara Gudda near Hemmakki in Mudigere taluk, cited developing coffee plantations in the valley as one of the reasons for a landslip. In its recommendation about this place, the team said, “The natural drainage should be left unaltered. Plantations in such places should be avoided to ensure free flow of water. Any construction in the vicinity should be avoided.”

The team has made a set of general recommendations, besides location-specific suggestions, to the district administration.

‘Flow of water essential’

They include making proper drainage arrangements to keep the slopes well-drained and dry. One significant recommendation is avoiding plantation/vegetation along the stream course to ensure free flow of water. The toe support of the slopes should not be excavated or disturbed by any means. “There should be a thorough analysis of the mass capacity of slopes before going for construction of any public or domestic establishment,” the report said. Further, it said the slopes with high gradient must be monitored regularly, particularly during the monsoon.

Kumara, Additional DC, told The Hindu the district administration had received the study report. “We will go through the report in detail and take action to avoid landslips in future,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 8:20:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/gsi-plantations-that-obstruct-natural-drainage-cause-landslips/article30126733.ece

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