Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Digging one's own grave

The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago... had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.                                                           - Havelock Ellis (1859- 1939)   
Some adverse impacts of uncontrolled river quarrying :-
a) Land degradation
b) Increase in erosion
c) Damage to infrastructure such as bridges, highways
d) Damage to Irrigation schemes
e) Damage to natural ecosystems
f) Irreversible adverse impact on riverine biodiversity
g) Ground water level (water table) lowering

- source "Issues and challenges in river management due to excessive sand mining in Sri Lanka" (http://riversymposium.com/paper08/Badra Kamaladasa.pdf)

As with so many such issues, more questions are raised than there are answers, the main questions being :-
a) Is there a saner way to continue the developmental work without ravaging the environment?
b) Where do you find alternative employment for the thousands who who eke out a living by working in the quarries?

-photo credits
 Mr Kundan Yolmo and self

Praful Rao

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