Mangaluru: The landslides in the Western Ghats and Kodagu have led to fears that the ongoing work on the Yettinahole project could prove dangerous to areas located below the ghats.. “The dams, yards and other components of the Yettinahole project are being built on the slopes of the Western Ghats. The DPR of Yettinahole does not say anything about the safety on this side of the ghats. And there has been no study on the possible impact of the project on the ghat slopes,” observes Prof (Dr) S.G. Mayya, former dean (planning and development) and professor of water resource engineering, NITK.
Pointing out that the soil in the Western Ghats is a red laterite type that easily absorbs water, he explains that if there is construction activity, a plantation or any other form of human interference on its flat surface, the water, which sank down in the mud slumps, could finally leads to a landslide.
"Dams have been built in about eight locations, pipelines and electric poles have been laid and excavation is being done for various other projects on the slopes of the Western Ghats. This interference could lead to a major landslide and catastrophe," he warns, adding that in the absence of a study of the carrying capacity of the region, the National Green Tribunal( NGT) should stop the project till the government does one.
National Environment Care Federation state secretary, Shashidhar Shetty too fears that Dakshina Kannada may face a natural disaster on account of Yettinahole and other similar projects in the Western Ghats. “This is why we have been opposing any project in the Western Ghats, which are ecologically sensitive. Any human interference in the form of dams, roads, borewells, homestays and construction work could prove a risk,” he warns.