Thiruvananthapuram: Leading environmentalists in the state link the killer landslides occurred during the rains to unbridled mining.
They allege that mining and construction on the steep mountains permitted without necessary environmental study led to devastating landslides.
Those who stand by this view include Dr. V.S. Vijayan, Sugathakumari, John Peruvantanam and C. R. Neelakandan.
Talking to Madhyamam Daily, Dr. T.V. Rajeev, a scientist in forest research, ascribed landslide in Kozhikode, Wayanad and Malapuaram districts to impact from mining.
The report he had prepared in March 2017 carried a map of quarries in ecologically fragile areas of the state. Based on it, at least one side of any hills that had landslips has rock quarries in operation.
It was found at least in one or two places large quantity of water collected in troughs for crushing and cleaning rocks on top of hills, including where landslide occurred this time.
The explosions in quarries have destabilized Western Ghats largely. Basalt rock is the fastest conductor of sound waves after diamond.
At each explosion, mountain ranges in Western Ghats might have shaken to the core. Hit by heavy rains, these fragile hills easily get swept away, Dr. T.V. Rajeev said.
On several occasions people living in the neighbourhood of quarries had to leave their habitats.
Most often people fled either because of quarry owners having bought up vast swaths of land or they were threatened.
About six thousand quarries are in operation in Kerala, most of them in private sector.