Mangaluru: Villagers of Mittabagilu and Malavanthige in Belthangady taluk here, who have been seeing the hills near their village every day, have noticed a wonderful change after the flash floods and landslides on August 9.
As the clouds move away from the hills, the villagers have started noticing a couple of craters and new waterfalls which they had not seen before.
As several acres of soil in the hills were washed away, the streams have changed course in some places. In those places where trees were washed away, the waterfalls that were hidden by these trees are now visible.
Looking at the damage to the forest, environmentalists and villagers want the forest department to reforest these areas and ensure that the place gets its greenery back.
“Thousands of Shola forest trees and several acres of grassland have been washed away in the Western Ghats. These trees and the grassland help the rain water to sink into the ground and increase the water table and also feed water to the rivers. As trees and grasslands have been washed away it will affect the river origins,” National Environment Care Federation (NECF) state general secretary Shashidhar Shetty said expressing his concern.
“Already the rivers run dry during summer. With the damage this year, the situation would further worsen. The forest department has to take this seriously and start reforestation soon. They should plant saplings in all those areas where the trees have been washed away and declare these places as protected areas and ensure that greenery returns,” he added.
Absence of trees and grasslands could also result in further landslides in the coming days, Mr Shetty said....