Hills collapse after large-scale soil extraction

Hills collapse at spots from where earth was removed

Kollam: Earth has caved in at several areas from where soil was removed for work related to various government projects. The remaining part of the hills collapsed during the recent heavy rain.

Aggravating the situation, a mafia which is flattening the hills in the guise of clearing the collapsed earth. Soil worth lakhs of rupees was taken from various parts of the district recently for the Kollam Bypass work. The Bypass project had even been stalled for some time owing to shortage of soil.

Soil was mostly sourced from the Kottarakkara region. The quantity that was extracted was much more than the actual need. This was pointed out by the Revenue Department itself. The extracted soil was in fact taken to Karunagappally, Chavara and Sasthamcottah, via Puthoor, which are not linked to the Bypass work sites. After the violation was detected by the Revenue officials, they had imposed a fine on the contractor.

Now, land has collapsed at Kochalummoodu, Eeyamkunnu and near Kottarakkara KIP Office. A large amount of soil was excavated from these places. At Pulamon, soil caved in behind two hotels at night. As the spot was deserted, no casualties occurred.

It is learnt that necessary sanctions were obtained from the district geology department for removing the earth citing the need to clear the collapsed soil. Allegations are also being raised that some politicians are backing the move to flatten entire hills.

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