OOTY: A.Raja, the MP from Nilgiris, appealed to the Centre to provide the services of General Reserve Engineer Force(GREF) of Border Roads Organization (BRO) to repair, relay and maintain the battered roads in Nilgiris.
In a letter to Defence minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, he stated that the Nilgiris district in the Western Ghats has a long history of disastrous landslides events every year. Casualties and damage due to landslides become common in the region. High intensity rainfall, steep slopes, soil thickness are the natural causes. Urban development and deforestation are man-made causes. The landslips in this district have resulted in heavy loss to human life, livestock, damage to communication system, agriculture and transport, he said.
The tourist destination of Avalanche in Nilgiris has recorded 911-mm of rainfall in 24 hours period ending on August 9. There were more landslips reported across the district. Hundreds have been stranded and thousands of people have been evacuated to relief camps. The death toll in rain related incidents in the hilly district rose to five. Traffic snarls are common across the district, particularly on highway as trees were uprooted.
To completely stop or minimize landslides, the expertise knowledge and experience of the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) of Border Roads Organization who have been doing commendable work in Andaman through its 'Yatrak Project' may be requisitioned for road maintenance. GREF has been doing through its ‘Deepak Project’ a remarkable assignment such as construction of retaining wall, drainage and maintenance of road where recurrences of such kind of landslides, he said. So, it is requested that the services of GREF be extended to the people of the hilly Nilgiris district so as to completely check the landslides, Mr. Raja stated.