Scars still remain on the hills of Nilgiris, or the Blue Mountains. The brown patches are not only testimony to the hundreds of landslides that killed around 50 people last November, but also of what over-exploitation and the real estate boom has done to the fragile ecosystem of the verdant Queen of the Hills.

However, no one seems to have learnt anything.

Landslides caused by heavy rainfall over the past few days in the Ooty mountain ranges have flattened several hamlets near Coonoor, said officials on Tuesday. They added that 28 deaths were reported on Tuesday, including seven of a family, taking the death toll due to monsoon-related incidents in the Nilgiris district to 42.

Tragic: Fish lying dead in the Ooty Lake on Wednesday.

Earthquakes and tsunamis are the most d c gentle of natural - disasters. They cause least harm when you are r in the open.
Geographically, Tamil Nadu is in a very advantageous position - as prior notice about tsunami can be given at least 110 to 140 minutes in advance for a tsunami e and people will only , have to move a km from the shore - }

By Subhash Chandra N S,DH News Service,Bangalore:

R Haldorai | ENS
WATTLE and bluegum trees have been found to be felled in 100 acres in Ooty forest and smuggled.

Problem: Terrain forbids water supply systems that work in plains; Status: Water crisis in peak season every year; Challenge: Develop decentralised water supply systems

Problem: Lack of space for garbage disposal; inadequate sewerage; Status: Garbage disposed on hill slopes ends in streams/rivers; Challenge: Introduce decentralised technologies for wast

Problem: Tall buildings risky in high seismic zones; Status: Hill stations are getting concretised and growing vertically; Challenge: Use local construction material; regulate traffic

Planners must stop looking down at hill stations