Cut the hills slant to make roads safer: Experts after Karnataka floods

In many places of Charmadi, hillsides are cut vertically, so, when landslide occurs, debris directly falls on the road

Published: 15th August 2019 06:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th August 2019 11:39 AM   |  A+A-

A landslide on Charmadi Ghat. | Express Photo Services

Express News Service

MANGALURU: After last year’s massive landslides on Charmadi, Shiradi and Sampaje Ghats, that connect the coast with the hinterland, forest department wrote to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and PWD to cut the slant of the hill and undertake concrete packing of slopes in order to minimise the damage caused to ghat roads.

However, the authorities maintaining these roads did not take the suggestion seriously and initiate corrective measures.

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Sources in the forest department attributed the landslides halting traffic on ghat roads to mostly unscientific cutting of hills.

“In many places of the ghats connecting the coast, it is cut vertically, so, when a landslide occurs, the debris directly falls on the road, blocking the traffic,” said a senior official of the forest department.

Even a geo-technical study of Charmadi Ghat landslides conduced by Sandeep Kumar DS, assistant professor of civil engineering, Alva’s Institute of Engineering and Technology, Moodbidri and others, had pointed out unscientific cutting of hills for the disaster.

The best solution, the study suggested is to avoid landslide-prone areas altogether and improving surface and subsurface drainage.

“Because water is a main factor in landslides, improving surface and subsurface drainage at the site can increase the stability of a landslide-prone slope. Removing the soil and rock at the head of the landslide decreases the driving pressure and can slow or stop a landslide.”

In its letter, the forest department had also flagged the idea of holding a joint inspection with the road authorities to identify the landslide-prone slopes along the ghat road and take corrective measures which was also ignored.


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