20 February 2008

Sand Quarrying

Last week there was an interesting article entitled ‘Sand quarrying a cause for concern,’ in the Tiruvannamalai District section of The Hindu newspaper. I had no idea, until I read the article, that sand quarrying had such negative consequences. The newspaper article which was discussing sand quarrying at Kulthigal Village raised points that apply to similar quarrying occurring at Tiruvannamalai. The articles reads:

Photo of sand quarrying before the rains at Samudram

“A visit to the quarry revealed . . . several deep and large stagnant pools of water, nearly 15 feet to 20 feet deep, formed by the act of quarrying sand using excavators. While on the one hand, the deep pools of water pose hazards to those, especially youngsters who venture into the water, additionally, the huge pits that would remain after the drying or evaporation of the water during the summer would prevent water from reaching the irrigation tanks and other water bodies during rain by sucking the water. Besides, locals fear that the continuous and unchecked quarrying of sand, using excavators, would result in the depletion of sand wealth thereby undermining the retention of groundwater at a higher level.

Excavators at Samudram

. . . Government rules state that sand should be quarried only up to a depth of three feet. Besides which the use of excavators is also illegal . . . indiscriminate quarrying of sand, would not only deplete sand wealth but also result in the fast dwindling of the groundwater table.”

Samudram, Arunachala

The above photograph is of four of my dogs (there are two more). It certainly is an unpleasant thought that after the rains, somebody could be wading in ankle deep water and all of a sudden, 'Whoops,' falls into a ten foot hole!

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Yes it is a serious problem, one that is hard to regulate. :-(