- Several trains on the Mangaluru-Mumbai sector were either cancelled or diverted on alternative routes following a massive landslip on the Mangaluru-Mumbai line (Konkan Railway network) near Kulashekara.
- occurring after the Kulashekara tunnel on the Padil-Jokatte section, the landslip triggered by heavy rains brought down a portion of the retaining wall too thereby blocking the track.
- A landslide is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope.
- They are a type of mass wasting, which denotes any downward movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity.
- The term landslide encompasses five modes of slope movement: falls, topples, slides, spreads, and flows.
- Slope movement occurs when forces acting downward (mainly due to gravity) exceed the strength of the earth materials that compose the slope.
- Landslides are caused due to three major factors: geology, morphology, and human activity.
- Geology refers to characteristics of the material. The earth or rock might be weak or fractured, or different layers may have different strengths and stiffness.
- Morphology refers to the structure of the land. For example, slopes that lose their vegetation to fire or drought are more vulnerable to landslides.
- Vegetation holds soil in place, and without the root systems of trees, bushes, and other plants, the land is more likely to slide away.
- Human activity which includes agriculture and construction increases the risk of a landslide.
- Continent-wise, Asia suffers the maximum damages/losses due to landslides and within that, South-Asian nations are the worst sufferers including India which is one of the worst affected by landslides.
- Restriction on the construction and other developmental activities such as roads and dams in the areas prone to landslides.
- Limiting agriculture to valleys and areas with moderate slopes.
- Control on the development of large settlements in the high vulnerability zones.
- Promoting large-scale afforestation programmes and construction of bunds to reduce the flow of water.
- Terrace farming should be encouraged in the northeastern hill states where Jhumming (Slash and Burn/Shifting Cultivation) is still Prevalent.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
- The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is the apex statutory body for disaster management in India.
- The NDMA was formally constituted on 27th September 2006, in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with the Prime Minister as its Chairperson and nine other members, and one such member to be designated as Vice-Chairperson.
- Mandate: Its primary purpose is to coordinate response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster resiliency and crisis response. It is also the apex body to lay down policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters.
- Vision: To build a safer and disaster resilient India by a holistic, proactive, technology driven and sustainable development strategy that involves all stakeholders and fosters a culture of prevention, preparedness and mitigation.
Evolution of NDMA
- In recognition of the importance of Disaster Management as a national priority, the Government of India set up a High-Powered Committee (HPC) in August 1999 and a National Committee after the Gujarat earthquake (2001), for making recommendations on the preparation of Disaster Management plans and suggesting effective mitigation mechanisms.
- The Tenth Five-Year Plan document also had, for the first time, a detailed chapter on Disaster Management. The Twelfth Finance Commission was also mandated to review the financial arrangements for Disaster Management.
- On 23 December 2005, the Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act, which envisaged the creation of NDMA, headed by the Prime Minister, and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by respective Chief Ministers, to spearhead and implement a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India.
Functions and Responsibilities of NDMA
- Approve the National Disaster Plan
- Lay down policies on disaster management
- Approve plans prepared by Ministries or Departments of the Central Government in accordance with National Plan
- Lay down guidelines to be followed by State Authorities in drawing up State Plan
- Lay down guidelines to be followed by different Ministries or Departments of the Central Government for the purpose of integrating measures for disaster prevention or mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects.
- Coordinate enforcement and implementation of disaster management policy and plan.
- Recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation.
- Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as determined by the Central Government.
- Take such other measures for prevention of disasters or mitigation or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with threatening disaster situation or disaster as it may consider necessary
- Lay down broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of National Institute of Disaster Management