August 20, 2018
Kottayam: People have started debating on the reasons that caused the recent floods in Kerala claiming hundreds of lives.
Some blamed it on climate change due to pollution, while others flayed the State Government for its inefficiency for not foreseeing the calamity despite forecast of heavy monsoon.
There were some who were miffed over government bowing down to pressure of people against implementing the Madhav Gadgil report and the review report of space scientist Kasturirangan.
Those backing Gadgil had a strong reason to back their stand. The landslides had claimed many lives in Idukki and Wayanad caused by mining of hills for house construction and land reclamation using heavy earth movers in areas marked as sensitive by Gadgil.
While Congress leader and former parliamentarian P T Thomas of Idukki was bold enough to demand implementation of Gadgil report, CPM mainly under the stewardship of present State Minister M M Mani took out a massive campaign against its implementation.
Noted biotechnologist Madhav Gadgil was assigned by the Central Government to suggest ways to protect Western Ghats on the direction of the United Nations.
Gadgil became a villain to people of Idukki, Wayanad and other such areas which were marked as environmentally sensitive by him.
Land value of these areas dropped as fear gripped among people that the government was going to freeze the areas.
Congress-led UPA government assigned Kasturirangan to prepare a review report which was also opposed by the residents.
The campaign came as a blessing to a low profile politician like Joice George to hog the limelight.
A smart orator, George became a messiah of the people of Idukki to fight against the report. He became their darling overnight and LDF, which was struggling to get an opportunity to win the Parliament seat from Idukki, roped in him as its Independent candidate.
Gadgil and Kasturirangan turned the most hated persons among the stakeholders. They even threatened to not allow Gadgil and Kasturirangan to set their foot in Idukki.
Unfettered by such threats, Gadgil came to Thodupuzha to speak about his report. So did Kasturirangan who visited the Collectorate in Idukki to address the stakeholders. Nobody dared to oppose them.
Now that the hilly districts in the State continue to remain vulnerable to landslides, the Left leaders and people who opposed Gadgil report realise its importance.
When contacted, Joice George told The Covai Post that tGadgil report had nothing to do with the recent floods.
When his attention was drawn to the landslips killing many people in Idukki and Wayanad, he said there were also incidents of landslips deep inside the forest.
On the contrary, P T Thomas said Gadgil had demanded decommissioning of dams, including Idukki dam. If these dams were decommissioned, the flooding would not have happened.
Thomas told the TCP that the dams are massive bombs which could cause disasters. He said it was essential to protect the Western Ghats to save the environment.