Another landslip reported on Munnar’s Gap Road, landslip detection remains on paper

This was latest such incident on the stretch which has saw over 20 landslips since the road widening works began.

Updated - June 11, 2024 07:26 pm IST

Published - June 11, 2024 07:25 pm IST - IDUKKI

Rocks that fell to the surface of the Gap Road in a landslip that was reported on Sunday night on the Munnar-Bodimettu stretch of the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway in Munnar.

Rocks that fell to the surface of the Gap Road in a landslip that was reported on Sunday night on the Munnar-Bodimettu stretch of the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway in Munnar.

A minor landslip was reported on the Gap Road on the Munnar-Bodimettu stretch of the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway following rainfall on Sunday night. According to the local public, boulders and rocks from the nearby hills fell on the Chemmannar-Bisonvalley stretch of the Gap Road around 8 p.m. and an SUV narrowly escaped from the accident. This was the latest incident of landslips on the stretch which has witnessed over 20 landslips since the road widening works began. The road was opened to traffic in 2022.

However, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) announced that the landslip detection system on that stretch remains on paper. According to officials, after repeated landslips were reported last year, NHAI had planned to install a cost-effective detection system on the Gap Road stretch of the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway in Munnar to warn the authorities about landslips.

The Idukki district administration had given the project a green signal.

NHAI Assistant Executive Engineer Rex Felix said that the procedure to install the landslip detection system is yet to be completed. “Once the process is complete, we will go ahead with the project and install the system,” said Mr. Felix.

Officials said that the system was developed by the Indian Institute of Technology-Mandi (IIT-Mandi), the Indian Army, and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

According to officials, the landslip warning system was aimed at installing censors inside the rocks by grilling. The censor system would be activated even at the minor movement of rocks on the surrounding hill, and the control room at the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) office would be alerted. Lights and warning sounds were also to be integrated into the system.

Officials said that when they get alerts, the traffic on the stretch could be stopped, and the people in the area can be evacuated within minutes. Sources said that after opening the newly-constructed highway, the stretch is emerging as one of the major tourist attractions in the district.

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