MANGALURU: The initial assessment carried out by the forest department in Charmadi ghat which was hit by landslips earlier this month has found that the natural disaster has wiped out at least 100 acres of highly-dense evergreen forest. The lost forest is part of Charmadi-Kannampady reserve forest and is classified as ‘Eco value class 1 forest’. As per GoI norms, an acre of such forest is valued Rs 10 lakh and against every acre of land diverted to some project, plantation has to carried out in six acres to recover the loss.
Forest department has put these losses as only a rough estimate adding that it could further go up after a detail assessment which can only be carried out once the rains stop completely and the water level in the streams flowing in the ghat is reduced. “Drones were used to carry out the assessment ... but due to fog, gushing water in the river and slopes, the exact picture of the damage could not be captured. The area is also largely inaccessible. From whatever we could see it is clear that at least 100 acres of highly-dense forest is wiped out,” K Karikalan, DCF, Mangaluru division, told TNIE.
In a report submitted by him to the forest department head office on Monday, the total loss to the department is pegged at Rs 5 crore which also includes the damage caused to tree parks in Tannirbhavi and Bantwal and a nursery in Belthangady.
Karikalan said Rs 5 crore loss is calculated as per the land diversion value done by the department and it is only the direct loss. The indirect loss caused by the landslips is difficult to calculate and hard to reclaim. The forest department has been able to locate 1,014 uprooted trees besides 500 cubic meters of timber and 1,000 cubic meters of firewood that got washed away in the floods.
Even this could be much more as many trees are buried deep under the earth.Because of the record rain that pounded Charmadi ghat in just one week, the rills in the ghat have turned into gullies and the forest department faces a huge challenge in setting it right.