Manipal is built on a laterite plateau: Ramit Singal
Manipal: Ramit Singal, a renowned bird watcher, naturalist, and an ex-student of Manipal Institute of Technology, discussed the characteristics of laterite soil at a gathering of students and environmental supporters at the Planetarium Complex in Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities (MCPH), Manipal University on September 7.
Speaking on ‘Manipal’s last wilderness and the relevance of community based co-operation’, the Carl Zeiss awardee emphasized on the threats that deteriorate the laterite landscape in Manipal, the awareness and remedial measures that need to be taken up.
Fundedby Rufford Foundation, Ramit worked for a year to come up with a study on the laterite. Discussing its nature in Manipal, he said, “Laterite allows for easy surface run off and retains water in a way that it releases it over a period of a year. what happened with Inox recently shows what will happen if you tinker with the way water flows in a laterite plateau. We need to get a better understanding of this.”
His suggested remedial model is ‘community driven’ and involves four steps: educating the masses, protecting places as community based conservation centres, and bio-diversity heritage areas. This will make the local community guard the ecosystem and finally monetize everything to ensure a long-term benefit.
“The story goes that Manipal was a barren land and the University transformed it into a utility. Ramit’s work is of global importance as it includes new species, which are indigenous to Manipal. I knew a bit about the laterite but the more you know, the better it is,” said Ajinkya Deshmukh, a first year student of MCPH.
Edited by Kavana Desai