THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kavalappara in Malappuram district which was hit by a massive landslide recently is not fit for human settlement any more, according to the Malappuram District Disaster Management Authority.
The area consisting of over 100 acres will have to be converted for vegetation purposes alone, as per a study conducted by the authority.
The landslide had killed 59 people and 11 bodies are yet to be retrieved. A mass of mud, gravel and boulders came sweeping down uprooting thousands of trees, mostly rubber, arecanut and coconut, along the way. Kavalappara and Puthumala in Wayanad, which was also struck by a landslide, are on either side of a section of the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats. At Kavalappara, the hilltop remains inaccessible. Hence, the height of the landslide's crown is yet to be ascertained by geologists.
The study was initiated by the Malappuram District Disaster Management Authority with a team of officials of mining and geology, ground water and social conservation departments.
A senior geologist told DC that Kavalappara was no longer fit for human settlement. But it will take a long time to decide what type of vegetation will suit the terrain. There was the possibility of another huge landslide, he said.
"Water is trickling in from the top of the hill damaging the rubber plantation. The landslide happened because of the development activities initiated by the locals for the rubber plantation," he said.Dr. Sekhar L. Kuriakose, member secretary, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), told DC he was not aware of the findings by the expert committee as the report was with the Malappuram district collector, Jafar Malik.
"We will implement the decision after the committee takes a final call," he said.
Jafar Malik was unavailable for comments. But senior officials of Malappuram DMA told DC that the committee's report will be submitted to the government soon....