Expert calls for regional land-use planning

Saibal Ghosh  

Land-use zoning regulations should be implemented phase-wise by prioritising the most vulnerable districts and sectors in the State to reduce the risk of landslides, according to Dr. Saibal Ghosh, Director (Geology), Geohazard Research and Management Centre, Geological Survey of India (GSI).

“A regional land use planning can be started immediately with the available macro-scale landslide geodatabase. In each district of the State, all the critical sectors for mesoscale (1:10,000) landslide susceptibility and hazard mapping, and critical landslides for site-specific remediation need to be identified for planning and prioritising landslide remediation, mitigation, and management work,” he told The Hindu in an e-mail interview amidst the increasing incidents of disasters induced by landslide events in the State.

Suggesting that some pilot districts could be identified first to take up comprehensive landslide mitigation and management, Dr. Ghosh said that a comprehensive mitigation strategy for those districts be planned and implemented by taking into account all the available scientific data/ information.

“If new data is to be generated, the same may be prioritized for use; arrangement for exclusive funding arrangement for such mitigation tasks be made beforehand in a DPR mode; execution of mitigation work also needs to be monitored closely by an expert group. The identified pilot district be made a model district for implementing comprehensive landslide mitigation and management tasks,” he said.

Dr. Ghosh suggested simultaneous implementation of regional rainfall threshold-based landslide early warning system, and site-specific landslide early warning system using in-situ instruments for a few critical landslides in the pilot district.

“Any relevant endeavour for landslide disaster risk reduction (DRR) requires the involvement of the community right from the planning stage. Therefore, any measures to be implemented should be designed and executed by involving the local stakeholders, and the community from the very beginning so that their understanding of landslide risks, their capacity, and resilience are improved altogether, to achieve a suitable landslide DRR in that area,” he said.

Dr. Ghosh said that GSI has completed a macro scale (1:50,000) landslide susceptibility mapping in 2020 for the entire landslide-prone areas of 19,300 sq. km. in parts of 13 districts of Kerala.

“While preparing the landslide susceptibility map, GSI has also collected field-based data of 1,395 numbers of landslide incidences. The above spatial geo information on a 1:50,000 scale can be used for regional planning purposes of land use zoning regulations,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 3:36:38 AM |

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