16 Jan Science wins always
Sasthram jayikkunnu; manushyan tholkunnu enna slogan came to my mind when I saw a report in today,’ on the sand mining at Aruvikkara recently launched by the government as a solution for a host of problems, viz. raising the capacity of the reservoir, providing jobs under the JNREGS and to supply sand to the sand starved construction sector through the “Kalavara” stores. Indeed a noble idea. What morer one would expect from a democratic government?
Only trouble was that it went against the basics of geological sciences viz., the chemical weathering which is governed by the second law of thermodynamics. The objections raised were not addressed by the government anyway. The govt instead went along with its own instinct ignoring the science of sand formation in nature. Surprisingly to day in a camera straight Mr. Premachandran quoted the 30:70 rule of quartz to other minerals in the rocks, pretending to be following the science of sand. I would correct the number by 27:73 instead. The govt. by being what it is, can always ignore and blackout the aspects of science; whether it is Athirapally or Sand mining from reservoirs.
The campaign was launched as a solution to remedy at least partly the scarcity of construction sand locally, to enlarge the reservoir capacity and to provide jobs to the local BPL citizenry under the JNREGS .In fact a similar program was launched couple of days ago by Mr. Premachandran the water resources minister in Chulliar in Plakkad Dist.
From the day one of this new campaign of recovering sand from the reservoirs in Kerala, based on science, I was warning that there is no “gold mine” of sand hidden under the placid wares of the reservoirs of Kerala.
It is much more so in respect of the hydel reservoirs as the rate of catchment erosion is far less than that of the reservoirs built down below say at elevations in the range of 80- 160 m. ( above msl),. for irrigation purposes. I am sure that some one will soon sing the requiem for the reservoir sand mining in Kerala.