Explain the reasons behind the landslide in Manipur and also give suggestions to avert the future disasters.

The Railways have reportedly blamed jhum or shifting or slash-and-burn cultivation on hill slopes for the tragedy, sparking debates on the tendency to overlook geological challenges and not factor in climate change while executing major developmental projects.

Major reasons behind the Landslide in Manipur:

People tend to forget or not question the development models being implemented in such fragile hill or mountain ecosystems.

Most disasters are man-made as the designs are not suited to the geology.

Projects do not factor in climate change, which has been causing short bursts of heavy rainfall over a small area instead of moderate showers spread over a larger area.

Suggestions to avert Disasters in future:

Increasing human interference with nature has led to a rise in the number of natural disasters.However, the National Disaster Response Force under The Disaster Management Act, 2005 have conducted several successful rescue operations by providing aid and assistance to the affected state, including deploying, at the State’s request, of Armed Forces, Central Paramilitary Forces, and such communication, air and other assets. They have also worked to increase the awareness among people to reduce the effect of such natural calamities by organising preparedness campaigns.

~Source The Hindu

Syllabus: GS III Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. 

The Environment Ministry has proposed legislation which scales down punishment for some environmental violations. Stakeholders citizens, State governments, Union Territories and others concerned have time to respond with suggestions.

The EPA establishes the “framework for studying, planning, and implementing long-term requirements of environmental safety and laying down a system of speedy and adequate response to situations threatening the environment.

The Environment Ministry has proposed amendments in four key legislations:

Proposed punishments:

The EPA currently says that violators face imprisonment up to five years or a fine up to ₹1 lakh or both. If the violations continue, an additional fine of up to ₹5,000 for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction may be levied. There’s also a provision for the jail term to extend to seven years.

The changes proposed include the appointment of an ‘adjudication officer’ who will decide on the penalty in cases of environmental violations such as reports not being submitted or information not provided when demanded.

Funds collected as penalties would be accrued in an “Environmental Protection Fund.” In case of contraventions of the Act, the penalties could extend to anywhere from five lakh to five crore, the proposal notes, but the clause on provision of a jail term for the first default has been sought to be removed.

Proposed amendment impacts :

The proposed changes run the risk of reinforcing the assumption that these losses, whether environmental or health-related, can be compensated for with money.
~Source The Hindu