Land of backwaters, coconut fringed beaches, rejuvenating Ayurvedic massages and colourful festivals; Yes! You guessed it right. I am talking about the God’s own country, Kerala, one of the most picturesque places in India – This is what I have always read about Kerala in Travel Blogs, but suddenly The God own place headlines changed to – “Death toll reaches 370 in flood and landslides“. The condition is very melancholic and grief struck, everyone is sad and subdued but we have missed very important question – “What is the reason behind so much rains?“. It’s the second week of September, still it’s raining cats and dogs across the country.
Is this disaster Man Made ??
I think yes, the disaster was totally man made. A 2014 Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology study based on rainfall data since 1900 said that intensity of the monsoon rains was increasing and one of the factors for it was global warming. Another 2017 IIT Bombay study held deforestation as primary reason. Deep Inside, we all are aware it’s a result of our Karma(deeds) that we have done to nature but we are ignoring the fact. It’s high time to realise the change in environmental conditions –
Many Scientists have pointed out that there was a massive deforestation in the region to make railways and to turn Kerala into enchanting tourist spot, Moreover, the floods were the reason to human incursions and unscientific developmental activities in ecologically-sensitive areas.
Soil erosion was more prevalent in the Western Ghats. Mountain sides of Kerala were facing severe soil erosion problem. “In Panathura, Veli and Anjuthengu (all the coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram) rivers, the sand mining was extensive for human resource development. When the flood hit the river shores there was no good sand to absorb water and incessant rain. Swollen rivers did what they naturally do. Flood took over the plains, took down whatever humans constructed along the path, and drained into backwaters, submerging the areas they naturally inundate, and we call it a disaster.
The construction of Mullaperiyar Dam was another set of human interventions into the mountain ecosystem, hydroelectric power generation systems, starting with project at Pallivasal. Since then, 33 hydro power projects came up which directly challenged the ecological balance of the mountain system, and even the physical stability,as most of the reservoirs were built in the lineaments of the Western Ghats’ geologic structures.
With loss of so much human life, people’s house, their dreams and a beautiful state, there were many innocent animals died in these floods who were not even at fault. According to state government. there was a loss of Rs 20,000 crore and 10,000 kms roads washed away in flood which will take years to recover.
I am not planning to write the prevention steps because as the educated class of nation, we all are already aware about it. I just want to raise the point it’s high time to stand up for our nation, raise our voice against the harm we are doing to nature. Every individual can make a change to society.
NASA releases images of before and after Kerala flood –