KALPETTA: Learning lessons from landslides reported from Uttarakhand and Malin in Pune, and considering the region’s geological and topographical peculiarities, District Collector V Keshavendra Kumar has issued orders restricting construction of high-rise buildings in Wayanad.
“Because of geological peculiarities Wayanad is at risk from earthquakes and landslides. The recent landslides in Uttarakhand (June 2013 ) and Pune (at Malin on July 2014) are before us. So in public interest, it is pertinent that we take action for safeguarding the district,” said Keshavendra Kumar.
Quoting an observation made by the Kerala High Court, he said that the lack of scientific certainty is not a valid reason for postponing action to prevent damage.
As per the Disaster Management Act 2005 (Section 53) he directed the various departments to take action to curtail the height of buildings in the future. The order restricted the secretaries of all grama panchayats, municipalities, district town planner and the environmental engineer of Pollution Control Board from issuing approval for construction of high-rise buildings in Wayanad. Public government institutions such as hospitals and educational institutions would be given relaxation.
No buildings above the height of 8 metres in Lakkidi area in Vythiri Kunnathuidavaka village. In municipality limits, building height should not exceed 15 meters and for other parts of the district no buildings above 10 metres would be permitted.
The order also empowered officials to place more restrictions on the building height if approval is sought for construction on land slopes. In case objections are raised by builders, a core committee of District Disaster Management Authority will conduct on-site inspection.
Responding to the restriction order, Thamaraserry Bishop Mar Remigiose Inchananiyil said that order should not affect public amenities. “The order should not affect the construction of amenities for public,” he said.