The Nilgiri Documentation Center (NDC) has urged the government to incorporate “climate change preparedness” into its Special Area Development Programme plans, to address potential challenges that the Nilgiris could face due to climate change.
The NDC had also urged the State Planning Council to form a special cell to study, monitor, and advise the government on mountain-related issues, particularly challenges posed by climate change.
“After 1978, the Nilgiris entered ‘an anxious era of landslide’. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) which studied the landslips declared that the stage of preventing environment degradation in Nilgiris district has been crossed over and that the harm has already been done,” said honorary director of the NDC, Venugopal Dharmalingam.
A GSI team that inspected the Nilgiri landslide identified four ‘human causative factors’, namely, ‘vertical cutting’ of the slopes for road formation, ‘loading the slopes’ with heavy construction activities, the ‘bench-cuts’ and ‘terracing’ of slopes for construction and agriculture activities, and encroachment on ‘stream banks’, he said.
“The threat of climate change has added a new and far more dangerous dimension to the Nilgiris. The current year’s rainfall pattern and weather conditions have given a taste of what is in store for the hills. It is imperative that the government, administration and the public should wake up in time and prepare the district and its people for climate change readiness to prevent catastrophic consequences in the future,” he added.