THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when the state government is in the process of rehabilitating and reconstructing the state following the devastating mid-August floods, a group of 23 families living in Mananthavady taluk in Wayanad is staring at uncertainty.
For them, the ordeal follows after their rehabilitation went haywire following a report of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) the land selected for rehabilitating them was prone to landslides. Considering the gravity of the situation, the state government has asked the National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode, to look into the findings of the GSI.
“Wayanad was among the worst flood-hit districts. In Mananthavady taluk, 24 families lost their houses and land. Following this, they were also included in the rebuild list,” said an officer of the Revenue Department.
“But except one the rehabilitation of 23 families had to be put on hold as the GSI, the nodal agency for landslide studies in the country, raised objections against the designated land for rehabilitating them. The families had to find their own means to reside as some stay with their relatives and others had to stay in rented houses.” The officer cited the GSI in a report submitted to the Wayanad District Collector had stressed the need for a special study for rehabilitating them. The officer said the GSI objection is in the backdrop of the doubt the designated land is prone to either landslides or soil slip.
At the same time, Mananthavady taluk authorities said NIT, while looking into the findings of the GSI, has also been asked to certify the designated land as fit for house construction. “The designated land for the 23 families is five km away from Mananthavady town. The agency had collected samples from the spot and the report on the same is expected soon,” said a Revenue officer of Mananthavady taluk.
Earlier, the GSI had conducted a post-disaster study for landslides in Wayanad and recorded the landslide inventory details of eight landslides occurred in the district on a 42-point geo-parametric data sheet. Also, the Post Disaster Needs Assessment Floods and Landslides prepared by UNDP while highlighting that the heavy downpour accompanied by landslides had altered the topography of the land in several places of Wayanad beyond recognition also points out the district is prone to deep-seated landslides.