Green activists concerned over repeated disturbance to Western Ghats

Deccan Chronicle.  | Gururaj A Paniyadi

Lifestyle, Environment

Landslides and flash floods are being reported frequently in the foothills of Western Ghats in Dakshina Kannada (DC File Photo)

MANGALURU: Environmentalists have expressed their concern over repeated disturbance to the Western Ghats, which they feel, are resulting in frequent landslides and changes in the flow of underground water.

Landslides and flash floods are being reported frequently in the foothills of Western Ghats in Dakshina Kannada for the last few years. These rains bring down sludge comprising trees and a huge amount of soil with them. Activists have also noted the formation of new water bodies in a few valleys of the Western Ghats.

“In the last few years, there have been landslides in several places on the foothills of Western Ghats. We have also noted that the villagers have felt mild tremors before the landslide. This is because of the damage to the Western Ghats. Various projects including hydel projects, resorts, roads, dams, and mining activities, above all the Yettinahole Project, have severely damaged the ecologically sensitive area,” activist and Sahyadri Sanchaya convener Dinesh Holla told Deccan Chronicle.

“The damage results in slight tremors during which there is a change in the inner layer. During monsoon, the rainwater gets diverted due to this change and as a result, there is a flash flood. The water carries sludge and sometimes trees from the forest. During our visit to the Ghats, we noted that a few of the water bodies have changed their course and, in some places, new water bodies are formed. If the disturbance continues then the problem will be severe in the days to come,” he warned.

Activists also feel that there is a need for a proper study.

“The government should conduct a scientific study and stop all the projects that cause damage to the Western Ghats,” a villager opined.

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