Srinagar, Kashmir, May 2018. Wikimedia Commons

By Kusala Rajendran

Hindustan Times-Oct 9

My recent travel to the highlands of Kerala for a geophysical survey of the landslide-affected regions in the outskirts of Munnar alerted me of the impending dangers of over-tourism. The winding roads appeared busy as always, notwithstanding their bad condition following the landslides. Flex boards with images of the seamless hills carpeted by the purplish-blue Neelakurinji, welcomed the visitors to the festival of blooms, a spectacle that happens only once in twelve years. A Nilgiri Tahr perched on rocky escarpment looked like a symbol of precarious survival. Our trip ended at Anachal, about 15 km south of Munnar, and we were to map the surface and subsurface structures that were critical to triggering the slide. Work took us to the inner, steep, winding and narrow roads often flanked by cardamom, coffee, cocoa, rubber or mixed planations, most of which were generally disturbed by land slides.

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First published in: Hindustan Times