Ooty: In the backdrop of the recent heavy rains and related catastrophe in the form of mud-slips and landslides, the Nilgiri Documentation Centre (NDC), an NGO here, has written to the TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit, seeking his attention to enact a comprehensive mountain law to regulate constructions and check the defacement of slopes with unplanned developmental activities.
Director of NDC, D. Venugopal, stated in his letter that natural disaster has struck the Nilgiris again causing crores of rupees of loss in life, property, crops and infrastructure. The western and northern parts bore the brunt. If the rains had hit the southern and eastern parts, the loss would have been colossal. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Since 1978, the disasters have been increasing in frequency and magnitude, thereby, not only taking a heavy toll on life and property, but also diverting precious government funds which could otherwise have been spent on development and welfare activities. Future disasters could be of catastrophic proportions, he warned.
“In the last two decades, the Nilgiris has become a free for all district, not in the least by government itself, in the misuse of land, water and other natural resources notwithstanding the several laws and rules in operation, including the Master Plan and the Hill Area Conservation Authority,” he noted.
“An integrated law and supporting regulations to make mountain areas of the state sustainable and inclusive, cannot brook any further delay. As a flagship hill station of India, the Nilgiris deserves the immediate attention of the state and central governments of the country,” he added. He pleaded that the TN Governor may recommend to the state government to urgently bring about a comprehensive ‘Mountain Law.’...