ARE WELL CAVING DEATHS AVOIDABLE? thrivikramji@gmail.

com By about noon today –this year’s Vishu day, April 15, 11- the sad disappearance of a well digger into a well due to wall collapse happened in the Moonnam Puthen Theruvu, Fort, Thrivandrum. The TV channels brought this incident to our living rooms along with the rescue efforts to save a human life caught under the debris. Unhesitatingly I will say that this and similar accidents are a shame on us, especially in this modern world and our society that undergoes modernizing on a fast track. The modern science and technology have endowed us with tools and knowledge that will become handy in avoiding and preventing such and other ghastly incidents costing innocent lives. In fact what we need is a D –shallow or say 30 m.-resistivity tomogram of the land area of the highland and midland on a cadastral scale using the CARTOSAT-II data base. This program can be easily completed over a period of say 5 years. Moreover, the lihtologs of currently serving wells (both borewells and shaft wells) in the state have to go into a data base accessible to the well digger as well as the well owner, in every nook and corner of the state and either at the LSG offices/akshaya centers etc. This project can also be implemented over a period of say 5 years. The scientific ministries of GOI or the planning commission will be prepared to finance these projects. Once the shallow subsurface lithological data base is implemented and becomes functional in the public domain through a variety of channels the data will be come tangible for the public. When almost all the blocks or villages of the state have at least a school each, I would imagine that majority of such schools have some sort of connectivity to internet. If these schools and colleges in the state as well as the village/Krishi office with internet connectivity will be equipped to offer this new knowledge on the shallow geological make up to the needy like well digger or potential owner of a new well. This will be a much needed service especially to the day worker community and their families in the state. Such an empowerment will save dozens of lives every year and perhaps avoid life long penury of the unfortunate families. ------------------------------------

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